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May 09, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

CATWATCHING by Desmond Morris (Crown: $8; 136 pp., illustrated) and DOGWATCHING by Desmond Morris (Crown: $8; 130 pp., illustrated). The author of "The Naked Ape" offers less controversial but interesting views on pet behavior. Morris maintains that in modern households, dogs and cat are kept in a kind of perpetual adolescence that causes them to act immaturely. As pet dogs never pass beyond the puppy stage, they try to sleep on their owners' beds to remain close to their pseudo-parents. Wild cats do not toy with their prey before killing it; domestic cats, raised in more sterile environments, do--to prolong the excitement of the hunt. Pets also reveal a great deal about human behavior, as Morris points out in an intriguing discussion of the correlation between the sizes of toy dogs and human infants.

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