New Zealand has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world: more than half of all Kiwi households have a cat and nearly a third have a dog, while many have other pets. Yet until now no book has explored how pet keeping came to be such an integral part of the New Zealand way of life. Creature Comforts does just this. By chronicling the major events and ideas that have shaped pet ownership in New Zealand, this fascinating and entertaining book explains the strong relationship we have with our animal companions, and how this has changed over time. It looks at the social impact of fanciers' organisations, the moral influence of the SPCA and other animal welfare groups, the educational role of calf clubs, and the debates stirred up by animal rights movements. Beautifully illustrated, with many previously unpublished historical images. AUTHOR NANCY SWARBRICK is Managing Editor for Te Ara: the Encyclopedia of New Zealand (www.teara.govt.nz). She has spent most of her career working on public history projects, and was Assistant Editor (Editing and Research) for the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography during the book publication programme 1990-2000. She is also a pet owner.