inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #0 of 232: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 14 Jul 04 08:25
    

Susan McCarthy is a writer with 2 areas of specialization: humor, and
writing about animals and the environment.  Sometimes she is allowed to
combine these.

She is the co-author, with Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, of "When Elephants
Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals," which was an international best
seller and is still in print.

She is the sole author of "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live
in the Wild," which has just come out.  "It makes a perfect gift," she says.

Leading the conversation with Susan is Cynthia Heimel. Cynthia is a humor
writer who has more books in print than Susan McCarthy. Not that she's
competitive. Her first book was the infamous "Sex Tips for Girls," to which
"Sex and the City" and "Bridget Jones" et al are indebted.

Her best book title is "If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead
Yet." She writes for the New York Times magazine.

Welcome, Susan and Cynthia! We're delighted to have you join us.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #1 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 12:34
    


er, sumac?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #2 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 12:35
    


I believe you've written some kind of book about fur?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #3 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 12:41
    


do you want to talk about why you've made such a radical departure from your
book, *When Elephants Sleep*?  I mean, first you (co) write a book about how
Elephants have emotions while they hibernate, and now here we are with a
book about the skins of dead tigers?  I don't gety it.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #4 of 232: excessively heterosexual (saiyuk) Thu 15 Jul 04 12:47
    

Uhoh. I'm getting worried that the animals GOT her... 
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #5 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 13:33
    

would serve her right, how hard-hearted she must be.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #6 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 14:47
    

also alarmingly aloof.
perhaps she's a snob.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #7 of 232: (ernie) Thu 15 Jul 04 15:18
    
Why does this topis show up as retired?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #8 of 232: With catlike tread (sumac) Thu 15 Jul 04 15:50
    
Oh, the animals got me all right, and they have me holed up in the
library, reading about them.  That's what this book and the previous
one have in common---both are excuses for me to read everything from
books called Hyena Hijinks to the Canadian Journal of Wildlife
Biology.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #9 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 16:34
    

this topic shows up as retired, mr. ernie, because it's not open to the
public yet.  You are getting a sneak prevue, you lucky bastard.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #10 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 16:34
    

so it's not about fur?  it's about babies?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #11 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 16:57
    

baby animals?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #12 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 17:14
    


egrets?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #13 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Thu 15 Jul 04 17:14
    

furbies?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #14 of 232: With catlike tread (sumac) Thu 15 Jul 04 17:21
    
Furry, feathery, scaly babies.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #15 of 232: With catlike tread (sumac) Fri 16 Jul 04 09:47
    
To amplify, I'm talking about cubs, kittens, kits, pups, chicks,
fledglings, goslings, eaglets, fawns, foals, cygnets, owlets,
calves, shoats, apelets, piglets, fry, tadpoles, ducklings, nestlings,
and infants, babies, toddlers, children, and teenaged animals of
every species.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #16 of 232: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 16 Jul 04 10:46
    
(NOTE: Offsite readers can send email to <inkwell-hosts@well.com> if they
have questions or comments they want to add to this conversational thread)
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #17 of 232: Get Shorty (esau) Fri 16 Jul 04 10:47
    
Do teenage animals live to piss off their parents?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #18 of 232: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 16 Jul 04 10:47
    
Susan, aren't animals pretty much encoded with most of what they need to
know at birth? Particularly the "lower" ones like fish and birds?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #19 of 232: E M Richards (booter) Fri 16 Jul 04 10:57
    

Birds are *so* not lower, Cynthia! I think some of them are smarter
than some people in high office.

I still have not finished reading the book and am waiting to get to the
part that describes why a German shepherd (Alsatians for those across
the pond) is hanging out with baby tigers. Very pettable looking baby
tigers. Extremely pettable baby tigers.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #20 of 232: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Fri 16 Jul 04 11:05
    
I thought a book about baby animals would be all dull and earnest, but no,
sumac made it funny. So funny that I was reading it on a plane and giggling
out loud every few pages, and the woman sitting next to me demanded to know
what I was reading and wrote down the title so she could buy it when she got
home.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #21 of 232: Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 16 Jul 04 11:15
    
two rather girl-geek questions:

1) i assume, as with all intellectual and scientific matters,
there are trends and there are fashions. in doing yr research,
what did you discover that seems to be the a la mode thinking
about nature/nurture/babes of all species --- and what
(perhaps of recent origin) has fallen out of favor in terms
of theories and understandings?

2) am intrigued by the idea of how much littermates/sibs/
surrogate sibs affect babes growing up as they should.
(one of my pet theories is that as humans, it is in some ways
our sibs who humanize us, in that they -really- teach
us that there Are Other People in the room the way
almost nothing else can do...)
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #22 of 232: Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 16 Jul 04 11:34
    
erg, cant type. in 1) above meant 'what seem to be the a la mode'
rather than 'that seems to ebe...'
in 2) i meant 'socialize', not 'humanize'
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #23 of 232: thomas pynchon (plum) Fri 16 Jul 04 11:37
    


I am interested in swimming with dolphins.  Last night at your reading you
intimated that that humans are a "mixed bag," and that dolphins like some
humans but not others.  That if you're nice, they will swim with you and
even play in a jolly way.

Can you give some tips for hanging out with dolphins?  Are they picky about
appearance?  Do I need to get my roots done first?  Plus, is there any place
in california where one might frolic?
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #24 of 232: With catlike tread (sumac) Fri 16 Jul 04 11:43
    
Teenaged animals do madden their parents in many species.  The parents
need to kick them out eventually, but ideally not until they have a
chance of survival.  The kids want to be independent, but would still
enjoy room service, as who does not?

There are some white-tailed kites going through this right now, in
a tree nest in the yard of family members in Palo Alto.  The kids are
big, and can fly, and are hungry and mouthy about it.  Lots of
screaming.  It's just a difficult transition by its nature, I think.
  
inkwell.vue.219 : Susan McCarthy, "Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild"
permalink #25 of 232: Martha Soukup (soukup) Fri 16 Jul 04 11:51
    
Also how often do dolphins try to molest their playmates?
  

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