They don’t herd, guard, sniff for drugs, or guide the blind. They scratch the furniture, meow for food, and sleep all day. In spite of all this, cats and humans have been living together companionably for thousands of years. Cats now outnumber dogs in American homes. Cats themselves have long known that they are far superior to humans in many respects, so why do we keep them around? In Cat Sense (Basic Books, $27.99) John Bradshaw scientifically examines the feline-human relationship. He looks at the origins of this partnership, its evolution, and, most important for cat-owners everywhere, interprets cats’ behavior. Do cats have emotions or do humans project their own to the animals? You may think you understand your cat, but you’d be surprised to learn the real reason he purrs or rubs against you. This is a well-researched, engaging study of one of our best friends. I recommend reading it while your furry one is curled up sweetly in your lap.