Cats! They’re fuzzy (sometimes), mysterious, cute as buttons, and slightly evil. I’m not just describing my own cat here. They’re our wonderful companions that honestly don’t get enough hype or love.
In this On a Theme post, I will be listing some books that celebrate the uniqueness of cats and highlight their impact on the humans in their lives.
Welcome to a catastic post! (I’m sorry!)
Title: Travels of Suki the Adventure Cat
Written by: Martina Gutfreund & Leigh-Anne Ingram
What It’s About: Suki is a gorgeous Bengal cat from Canada who isn’t afraid of taking her tiny paws on big adventures. From the castles of Europe to the sunny shores of California, her travels prove that anyone can wander the world. With inspirational words about exploration, Suki’s readers are invited to travel with her. Additionally, Suki looks absolutely elegant with each step she takes and has the photos to prove it! Full of gorgeous shots of her and her human parent, Martina Gutfreund, the book will continue in the popular Instagram account’s tradition of taking in the wilderness and its boundless beauty.
Title: Catfulness: A Cat’s Guide to Achieving Mindfulness
Written by: A Cat
What It’s About: Human beings love to create problems for themselves. I observe this on a daily basis, as do all my feline friends. They never stop, and one of their favorite tasks is to find more tasks to do. They are always looking for something, as if the life they have isn’t enough. They say they are looking for happiness–but do they know what happiness is?
We cats know the art of living. We eat when we’re hungry, sleep when we’re tired. Sitting for hours outside a mouse hole has taught us patience. Staring at an aquarium has brought us meditation. And we know how to please ourselves.
Catfulness is a seven-week mindfulness program for human beings. If they can live their lives more like us, the world will be more serene. As Sigmund Freud said, “time spent with cats is never wasted”.
Title: Catland: The Soft Power of Cat Culture in Japan
Written by: Sarah Archer
What It’s About: In Japan, cats rule. And the country’s feline love affair is now a worldwide phenomenon. From cat cafés and Hello Kitty to the familiar sight of a maneki neko (“beckoning cat”) waving its paw from a shop window, cat lovers all over the world are more immersed in Japan’s cat culture than they may realize.
With charming storytelling, Catland will introduce you to cats practicing to become monks, a designer who makes cat costumes inspired by the fashions of 18th-century France, and skilled craftsmen who build pieces of fine furniture precisely scaled down to suit feline customers. Packed with photographs, works of art, pop culture and folklore, Catland is the perfect gift for the cat lover in your life.
Title: The Cat Man of Aleppo
Written by: Karim Shamsi-Basha & Irene Latham
Illustrated by: Yuko Shimizu
What It’s About: Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbors flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa decides to stay–he can make a difference by driving an ambulance, carrying the sick and wounded to safety. One day he hears hungry cats calling out to him on his way home. They are lonely and scared, just like him. He feeds and pets them to let them know they are loved. The next day more cats come, and then even more! There are too many for Alaa to take care of on his own. Alaa has a big heart, but he will need help from others if he wants to keep all of his new friends safe.
Title: What Cats Want: An Illustrated Guide for Truly Understanding Your Cat
Written by: Dr. Yuki Hattori
What It’s About: What makes cats climb into tiny spaces? Why do they sleep that much? And, most of all, how can we give them a good life?
Dr. Yuki Hattori is Japan’s leading cat doctor, and to him cats are the most beautiful animals in the world. His advice comes with little illustrations showing exactly what to look for as a cat owner – including charts showing how to interpret their different meows, the direction of their whiskers and the way their tail is pointing!
Cats may seem low-maintenance but thoughtfulness about where you put their water, how warm or cool they like to be, what name to choose and how to groom them properly will make a life-changing difference. With understanding, affection and respect, your cat will be more healthy and contented – and you’ll feel happier too.
An invaluable new guide filled with creative tips and darling illustrations, What Cats Want provides a much-desired glimpse into the minds of our most mysterious pets.
Title: The Cat I Never Named : A True Story of Love, War, and Survival
Written by: Amra Sabic-El-Rayess & Laura Sullivan
What It’s About: In 1992, Amra was a teen in Bihac, Bosnia, when her best friend said they couldn’t speak anymore. Her friend didn’t say why, but Amra knew the reason: Amra was Muslim. It was the first sign her world was changing. Then Muslim refugees from other Bosnian cities started arriving, fleeing Serbian persecution. When the tanks rolled into Bihac, bringing her own city under seige, Amra’s happy life in her peaceful city vanished.
But there is light even in the darkest of times, and she discovered that light in the warm, bonfire eyes of a stray cat. The little calico had followed the refugees into the city and lost her own family. At first, Amra doesn’t want to bother with a stray; her family doesn’t have the money to keep a pet. But with gentle charm this kitty finds her way into everyone’s heart, and after a few near miracles when she seems to save the family, how could they turn her away?
Here is the stunning true story of a teen who, even in the brutality of war, never wavered in her determination to obtain an education, maintain friendships, and even find a first love-and the cat who gave comfort, hope, and maybe even served as the family’s guardian spirit.
Title: Girls and Their Cats
Written by: BriAnne Wills & Elyse Moody
What It’s About: This stunning book redefines what it means to be a “cat lady” through striking portraits and engaging profiles of each woman and her cat—or cats.
Interspersed throughout are amusing lists any cat lady will find relatable, from “How to Catproof Your Home” to “The Chorus of Cat Sounds,” as well as an adoption resource guide and a list of rescue organizations in the United States and Canada.
• Includes heartwarming stories about each woman and her furry friend, as well as fun facts
• Celebrates the powerful bond between a girl and her cat, proving that we need them just as much as they need us
• Based on the popular Instagram @girlsandtheircats, which has been featured on Buzzfeed, Refinery29, The Daily Mail, and more
Title: Cats of the Louvre
Written & illustrated by: Taiyo Matsumoto
What It’s About: A surreal tale of the secret world of the cats of the Louvre, told by Eisner Award winner Taiyo Matsumoto.
The world-renowned Louvre museum in Paris contains more than just the most famous works of art in history. At night, within its darkened galleries, an unseen and surreal world comes alive—a world witnessed only by the small family of cats that lives in the attic. Until now…
Title: With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun, Vol. 1
Written & illustrated by: Hidekichi Matsumoto
What It’s About: With both a cat and a dog, there’s double the antics, double the fun (and double the kibble!) but while Inu and Neko coexist peacefully, they have their own distinct personalities, which play out in unexpected, charming ways during these short-form stories.
Whether you’re a dog-person or a cat-person, there’s plenty to love about these homegrown sketches of daily life shared with four-legged friends!
Title: She and Her Cat
Written by: Makoto Shinkai
Illustrated by: Tsubasa Yamaguchi
What It’s About: This is the story of Miyu, a woman who lives alone with her cat, Chobi. As Miyu navigates the world of adulthood, she discovers both the freedom and loneliness that come with living independently, and Chobi learns of the outside world through her actions. Time drifts slowly for Miyu and her cat, but the harsh realities of the world soon catch up…
Title: A Man and His Cat, Vol. 1
Written & illustrated by: Umi Sakurai
What It’s About: The top manga launch in Japan in the first half of 2018, A Man and His Cat was also voted one of the top ten manga of 2018 by Japanese bookstore employees nationwide. Having won hearts and topped charts in Japan, this hotly anticipated series about an older gentleman and his unique, adorable cat is available in English for the first time!
In the pet shop he calls home, a chubby, homely cat whiles away the hours listening to coos of delight from potential pet parents…but he knows it’s not him they’re fussing over. Even as his price drops with each passing day, no one spares the kitty a glance. Having all but given up on life, the feline dejectedly awaits his first birthday, when he’ll officially be past his sell-by date. So when an older gentleman comes into the shop and wants to take him home, the kitten himself is most shocked of all! Will the man and the cat find what they’re looking for…in each other?
Title: Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu
Written and illustrated by: Junji Ito
What It’s About: HELL-O-KITTY
Master of Japanese horror manga Junji Ito presents a series of hissterical tales chronicling his real-life trials and tribulations of becoming a cat owner. Junji Ito, as J-kun, has recently built a new house and has invited his financée, A-ko, to live with him. Little did he know…his blushing bride-to-be has some unexpected company in tow—Yon, a ghastly-looking family cat, and Mu, an adorable Norwegian forest cat. Despite being a dog person, J-kun finds himself purrsuaded by their odd cuteness and thus begins his comedic struggle to gain the affection of his new feline friends.
Written & illustrated by: Jean-Luc Deglin
What It’s About: Rascal is a cat. My cat. I didn’t ask for him, he just sort of… happened to me. But that’s how it works sometimes, isn’t it?
When a mysterious mewling package arrives in the mail, one busy young woman’s life changes forever. Rascal lives up to his name, filling every day with wild adventures and long naps: brave expeditions into closets, fierce battles with curtains, and wrestling with slumbering giants… Sometimes she’s tempted to throw him out the window. He’s lucky he’s cute.
Jean-Luc Deglin paints a purring portrait of one unforgettable black cat, an elegant inky swirl in a world of striking blue tones. Hilarious and heartwarming, exasperating and enchanting, Rascal captures the full range of emotions that come with keeping God’s cutest killing machine as a pet.
If you love cats, or dream of having one, this book is dedicated to you. Once you bring Rascal into your life, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without him.
Title: My Cat Looks Like My Dad
Written & illustrated by: Thao Lam
What It’s About: Minimal text paired with bright paper-collage illustrations create comparisons on each spread in which the narrator talks about their family—especially the striking similarities between Dad and the cat. Both have orange hair, love milk, start their days with stretches, appreciate a good nap, and are brave (some of the time). The narrator is more like Mom, with wild hair, blue eyes, and a love of dancing.
A surprising twist at the end reveals the narrator’s unexpected identity, also hinted at with clues in the art throughout the book. Warmth and whimsy in the illustrations add a playful balance to the story’s deeper message about the love that makes a family a unit, no matter how unusual it may look from the outside.
Title: The Bookstore Cat
Written by: Cylin Busby
Illustrated by: Charles Santoso
What It’s About: The bookstore cat is an adorable . . .
bossy . . .
He is everything from intelligent and loyal to naughty and vocal! But most of all, the bookstore cat is a well-loved (and well-read) kitty. Follow his funny antics from A to Z through a day in his bustling, book-filled shop.
The Bookstore Cat is based on a Victorian parlor game, The Minister’s Cat, in which players try to think of adjectives to describe the cat in alphabetical order. Readers can extend the fun of the book by playing their own version of the game.
Title: No Fuzzball!
Written & illustrated by: Isabella Kung
What It’s About: A hilarious new story from debut picture book artist Isabella Kung.
Fuzzball is Queen of the house. Her subjects just LOVE how she scales the tallest shelves and drags their belongings across the floor. Hear how they shout her name everywhere she goes … “NO FUZZBALL!” But when they leave her queendom for the weekend, she questions whether she should be a more benevolent ruler.Fans of funny, lovable characters like Aaron Blabey’s Pig the Pug, Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and David Shannon’s No, David! will fall in love with this furry, feline despot.
Title: Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?
Written & illustrated by: Coll Muir
What It’s About: Cats and birds can’t be friends! They have absolutely nothing in common. After all, cats are supposed to eat birds, not play with them!
But there’s something special about this prey-and-predator pair…and they may just find that it’s our differences that bring us closer together.
In a delightful picture book filled with pleasing banter and hilarious quips, rising talent Coll Muir creates the perfect unlikely friendship between unexpected creatures.
Title: Cats are a Liquid
Written by: Rebecca Donnelly
Illustrated by: Misa Saburi
What It’s About: Cats fill./ Cats spill./ Cats flow downhill.// Cats tip./ Cats drip./ Cats grip, snip, rip.// Cats are a liquid/ Except when they”re not.
Inspired by an Ig Nobel Prize-winning investigation of how cats behave like liquids, this book introduces some of the physical properties of liquids-they adapt to fit a container, they flow like fluids-and is just pure fun.
Like its inspiration, it makes you laugh, then think. Back matter includes a brief introduction to the different physical states: solid, liquid, gas
Title: Stack the Cats
Written & illustrated by: Susie Ghahremani
What It’s About: One cat sleeps. Two cats play. Three cats stack!
Cats of all shapes and sizes scamper, stretch and yawn across the pages of this adorable counting book. And every now and then, they find themselves in the purrfect fluffy stack!
Title: I Am a Cat
Written and illustrated by: Galia Bernstein
What It’s About: A simple housecat named Simon encounters some bigger cats: Lion, Puma, Panther, Tiger, and Cheetah. Each of the big cats has something to say about Simon not being “cat” enough. According to them, he just doesn’t measure up. He doesn’t have Lion’s mane or Cheetah’s spots. He doesn’t sleep in trees like Panther or climb mountains like Puma. He’s small and fuzzy, not big and strong. But ultimately, Simon shows the big cats that he’s just like them . . . only smaller.
A celebration of both individuality and community, I Am a Cat is a strong debut that shows we’re all more alike than we think . . . if we look closely enough.
Title: Mr. Cat and the Little Girl
Written & illustrated by: Wang Yu Wei
What It’s About: Mr. Cat spends his days alone. When he goes out to paint a beautiful winter landscape, he finds a little girl. He decides to take her home. The girl colors his world… until she disappears
Title: They All Saw a Cat
Written & illustrated by: Brendan Wenzel
What It’s About: The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?