We love writing about cats. Everyone does, right? There's even a Cat Writers Association for people who make writing about cats more than just their hobby. But it's not a new phenomenon -- people have been writing about cats as long as writing has been a thing. Think about this: one of the earliest form of writing, hieroglyphics, was used to write about cats. Now that's power.
There are too many books about cats for us to even begin to list them all, so we'll admit to being biased and note five of our favorite books about cats…. and five of the more obscure and odd books about cats that you may not have heard of.
3 well-known classic books about cats
Image from The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Netflix and DreamWorks.
"The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss (1957)
Who didn't grow up on this classic? Though this silly cat is a bad influence, he's like everyone's inner voice, telling you "go ahead, no one will know if you eat that last piece of cake at 2 in the morning." Or at least that's how we read it. Isn't that normal? No? Well, moving on.
"Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S.Eliot (1939)
We've already written about the many influences of T.S.Eliot's famous kitty poetry. His work is so beloved that it's led to the longest running musical on Broadway, and, perhaps more importantly, it's where the Tabby James kitties, Jellico and Tugger, got their names. Imagine how worshiped Eliot would have been if he'd lived during the age of the internet…
"Puss in Boots" by Charles Perrault (1697)
The adventures of the Puss in Boots are legendary and date way back to the 1600s, but ever since we watched the 2011 movie we just can't help but hear Antonio Banderas in our heads every time he's mentioned. Not that we're complaining.
3 more obscure classic books about cats
Image from The Three Lives of Thomasina, Disney.
"Catwings" by Ursula K. Le Guin (1988)
While not one of her more famous works, "Catwings" is a story about a group of winged kittens just trying to get by in the cruel world. How do you face the world when you're "different"?
"Why Cats Paint" by Burton Silver (1994)
Well, why do cats paint? We're not sure either, but this book (and its two sequels) from the not-too-distant 90s provides a comic look at some cat artistes.
"Thomasina" by Paul Gallico (1957)
This book is subtitled "The Cat Who Thought She Was God," yet somehow it ended up as a classic in more ways than one: Disney adapted it into a movie in 1964. We know, we know, the stories many Disney classics are based on are pretty brutal, but the movies tend to edit the iffy parts out. The "Thomasina" movie includes pretty much every part of the book, including a man who mercilessly kills his daughter's cat, followed by her tearful burial in the rain, followed by the cat pulling a Lazarus and coming back to life. It's probably not a childhood favorite (more like childhood trauma!) but it's definitely a classic tale of a cat's multiple lives.
What's your favorite cat book? Tell us on Instagram or Facebook!