To our enjoyment, quirky cat photos, memes and videos have taken over the Internet. Ever wonder what that cat is thinking or why it's behaving a certain way? Dr. Tony Buffington, a veterinarian, researcher and professor at Ohio State is happy to provide some insight. He, in partnership with ODEE, have released a multi-touch interactive digital book, Cat Mastery. In addition, his iTunes U course, Cat Mastery will launch later this month.
Cat Mastery is Dr. Buffington's first digital book. Written for a wide-audience, this digital format will offer a fun, refreshing read. The book contains many innovative features and multimedia, such as diagrams and videos that offer different information about cat behaviors.
The Cat Mastery iTunes U course provides more than just information for the typical pet owner. It offers different materials and progress reports for those who may want to apply some of the tips presented in the book and share their results. Dr. Buffington described the course as an innovative way to engage the reading audience and develop an online community.
Dr. Buffington is a household name in the pet world. He's studied and practiced veterinary medicine for more than 25 years with a focus on indoor pets, especially cats. He graduated with degrees in nutrition and veterinary medicine before coming to Ohio State in 1987. He intended to study behavioral concerns and diseases caused by the typical pet cat's diet, however, during one of his first research studies, he quickly discovered that it was the impact of their environments, instead.
"When I made this connection, I went back and spoke to my major professor because the behavior issue wasn't a nutrition problem," Buffington said. "I asked him if I should let someone else research and handle these findings. He very wisely said, 'If you're enjoying yourself, you can always find time to come back to nutrition.'"
With his findings and his professor's advice, Dr. Buffington continued to study cats in all aspects.
Fast forward 25 years and Dr. Buffington is well established in the academic and general veterinary worlds. He has been featured in multiple research publications and has written a textbook to use in his courses. Dr. Buffington also launched the Indoor Pet Initiative (IPI) in collaboration with Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine. The IPI is a free online resource with the goal of providing the best tips and information possible to improve the lives of pets and their owners.
Although Cat Mastery is Dr. Buffington's first digital book, it's not his only book meant for the general public. It's an expansion of his latest print book in an innovative and interactive format. In Cat Mastery, the reader will be presented with videos, graphics and audio clips, which bring the information to life.
"In Cat Mastery I was able to get information out about making cats and their owners' lives better," said Buffington. "Then I combined it with an intriguing style of writing to capture peoples' imagination more than a traditional static book."
Cat Mastery is available now in the Ohio State Digital Bookstore and be sure to check out Cat Mastery in iTunes U later this month.