Cats have held a significant role in the world of literature ever since significant roles have been recorded. From the cats of Egypt to fairy tales that cause your children look at their feline companions in a whole new light, cats play a host of complex characters. Just read any Halloween or witch story to see a cat as a “familiar” who knows far more about what’s really going on than the rest of the characters do. When you really take a look at the preeminence of cats in literature, you’ll see what an important role they play, and you’ll understand why children have such a fascination with cats. For example, consider these 6 memorable cats in literature.
One of the most revered and well known cats of all time is Aslan, a significant character in The Chronicles of Narnia. He is the good side of the realm of Narnia, always fair and wise. His heart seems to be made of pure gold and he wants nothing but the best for the inhabitants of Narnia, even if they only live there for a limited period of time before they go back home through the wardrobe. Aslan is the embodiment of courage during times when it does not appear that courage is even possible. Read More »
Would it surprise you to learn that five of the top 25 bestsellers on Amazon today are adult coloring books? Or that the book credited with jump-starting the adult coloring book craze, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide? If you read the news or spend any time on social media, those two factoids are probably not a revelation. Perhaps you’re even among the legions who enjoy this fun hobby that’s becoming more popular by the day.
Some say coloring – aka Art Therapy – is a wonderful way to relax and that it can reduce stress and anxiety, and even help with depression. Others say coloring provides an accessible creative outlet, a way to be “artsy” even if you can’t draw. I discovered adult coloring books in April, and coloring quickly became my go-to activity whenever I had a minute to spare. Because I love all things feline, my first adult coloring book was a cat-themed one. I’ve since branched out to other designs, but am also collecting the cat coloring books. I wanted to share a few of my favorites here today. (This is by no means a complete list of all the nice cat-themed adult coloring books out there! That would require a novel-length post). Creative Haven: Creative Cats
Just about every cat person who colors has this enchanting book by artist Marjorie Sarnat. The images are quite detailed and challenging to color, featuring adorable felines amongst flowers, hearts, butterflies, owls, cityscapes and fantasy scenes. There are over 30 illustrations printed on one side only, which means you can use any medium—even markers – to color them without worrying about bleed through. The pages are also perforated for easy removal. Cats & Quilts
Jason Hamilton is a software engineer who likes to draw to unwind after a busy workday. His charming adult coloring book contains 24 cozy illustrations of cats and kittens doing what they do best – napping! Aside from the really sweet images, one thing I especially like about this book is that each illustration appears in two sizes: full page and 4″ x 6″ which is perfect for framing or just trying out a different color scheme. The images are printed on one side only.
Creative Fancy Cats
This book by artist Gina Trowler has 30 eclectic illustrations to color, including cats in sunglasses, a Puss In Boots-style character, cats chasing butterflies, befriending a bird and peeking out from baskets. Some of the images are intricately detailed with tiny spaces that require concentration and a steady hand (as well as fine tip markers!) while others offer a more relaxed approach. The images are printed on one side only.
Cats: Coloring for Mindfulness
I am totally in love with the playfully quirky style of this book by Paris illustrators Aurelie Castex and Claire Laude. You’ll find all sorts of detailed scenes featuring cats as Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls), cats playing, dancing, dressing up and just generally getting into mischief – just like a feline! The 60 whimsical illustrations are printed on both sides of the page; this creates some really cute double-page spreads, but it’s also a drawback if you like to color with markers, as they will bleed through the paper. The book’s cover is more luxurious than most, something between a hardback and a paperback with a nice feel and look.
Mimi Vang Olsen Cats Coloring Book
Renowned artist Mimi Vang Olsen travels the world meeting cats and creating folksy pet portraits that capture each feline’s unique purrsonality. This delightful coloring book features 22 reproductions of her original cat-themed works of art. On the inside front and back cover are small color photos of the artwork, so you can color the images to match Mimi’s or do them entirely different. The paper is nice and thick, and the images are printed on one side only.
Art Therapie: Chats
This adorable little cat coloring from France is smaller than most at approximately 5 ½” x 8″. But what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with 60 wonderful cat-inspired illustrations. It’s the perfect size book to take along to get your cat coloring fix while you wait in the doctor’s office etc.
Designs for Coloring: Cats
Originally published in 1990 (long before the adult coloring book trend!), this book by artist Ruth Heller is geared more toward children. However, cat lovers of all ages will enjoy coloring the images which feature housecats as well as jungle cats like a lion and leopard. One downside is that many of the images appear more than once, either magnified into a super close-up shot or reduced to form a quartet on the page. Still, it’s really cute and the images are printed on only one side of the page, so I still give the book two paw’s up.
No list of cat coloring books would be complete without a mention of one of the most famous real-life felines, the surly but loveable Grumpy Cat. This book is also geared towards children, but hey – it’s Grumpy Cat! Which means it’s going to be funny as well as fun to color.
All of the above cat coloring books are available on Amazon, where you can get more detailed information as well as see some sample pages. And if you like to color kitty pics, you might want to join the Cat Colorings group on Facebook to share your colorings with other cat lovers!
If I’d told someone ten years ago that cat authors would soon be all the rage, they’d have laughed me out of town. Back in those “dark ages,” felines just didn’t write books. I don’t think it was because cats didn’t have anything to say, though. I think the primary reason cats didn’t write books until recently was that they hadn’t realized they could command a human to do their transcribing!
Once felines got over the hurdle of not having opposable thumbs, cat books began popping up everywhere, and many have become bestsellers. The Dalai Lama’s cat covered a very important feline topic in The Art of Purring. Sparkle the Designer Cat offered sage advice for a feline’s most pressing problems in her two books. Felines explored the world of poetry in I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats. Psychokitty Max Thompson is a prolific feline author, with five books to date including The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats.
So you see, cats writing books is nothing new. However, I don’t think cats have even scratched the surface of all of the topics they’re qualified to write about. Here are just a few.
1. How to Fit Into Practically Anything
The postal service slogan “If it fits, it ships” inspired a hilarious cat version “If I fits, I sits” which the clever meme-makers had a field day with. So I thought since cats know a thing or two about fitting into the most unlikely places – including itty bitty fish bowls and boxes five times too small – they could write this informative guidebook in the style of the classic How to Clean Practically Anything.
I have had the pleasure of a cat’s company for all of my life. Without giving away my age, let’s just say that this amounts to a very long time. Cats have been my BFFs ever since the cute yellow kitten my toddler self inexplicably wanted to name Blacky (sadly, I was outvoted). I think it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about cat behavior. Which means that whenever I start reading a new cat book, I can tell within the first few pages whether the author really “knows” cats, or not.
As it happens, sometimes people who have a cat decide to try writing some funny stories about the cat. The stories are indeed humorous, but they don’t really describe feline behavior. As you might imagine, I enjoy books about cats more when they’re portraying at least semi-realistic things the cats do … or might do, if given the chance.
When I began reading Lessons in Stalking: Adjusting to Life with Cats, it was obvious that the book’s author, Dena Harris, was a bona fide cat lady. Not everyone gets cats, but Dena Harris most definitely does. Moreover, she captured their feline quirks perfectly, and the stories – although slightly exaggerated for comic effect – were plausible. Events may not have happened exactly the way she described them…but they could have.
I am addicted to cat books. No, not books about cats; books written by cats. I can’t get enough of them. Luckily, it’s easy to get a fix. There are so many cat authors now, that I wouldn’t be surprised if they outnumbered human writers one day. Amazon often has kindle versions of cat books for .99 to $1.99 (sometimes even free!), and like a good pusher they email me to let me know.
My latest cat author discovery is Max Thompson, who describes himself as “14 pounds of sleek black and white glory, with an attitude…and opinions… on everything.” That’s accurate, I think. Max the cat is quite a character. He’s got “catitude,” as they say.
Max first dipped his paws into the writing water in 2003, with a blog called The PsychoKitty Speaks Out. Spurred on by the appreciation of the masses for his witty quips, enlightened feline wisdom and snarky attitude, Max put his musings into book form. Diary of a Mad Housecat contains short daily entries about Max’s life as a “put-upon and under-appreciated feline.”
The book puts a humorous spin on common feline behaviors that every cat lover will identify with. Such as: “If you don’t want me to lick the chicken, don’t leave it on the counter. Simple as that.” The diary format makes it easy to read in snippets, as time permits. It’s a funny look at the day-to-day life of a sarcastic, smart-aleck cat.
Max is cool, but he does have a potty mouth. Yes, he swears. A LOT. If Max were human, I imagine him as a beer swilling, chest thumping macho man who cusses like a drunken sailor, but still has a soft spot for Mom even though he claims not to like or need anyone. The idea of a swearing feline is admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea. I didn’t hate that aspect of Max’s character, exactly, but also feel the bad language could have been toned down because it started to detract from the humor.
Because it’s the giving season, CANIDAE decided to hold a comment-a-thon to benefit PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support)! I’ll give you all the important details for that below. But first, I want to tell you about a pawsome novel that should be on the bookshelf of every cat lover.
The Dalai Lama’s cat is back, which makes me so happy that I’m purring! Not actually purring, mind you, but metaphorically. I was over the moon when I received my copy of The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring, because it’s a sequel to one of the best books I read in 2013.
In that first book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat, I met and fell in love with a witty, wise and mischievous feline who “had me at hello.” She’s every bit as charming in this delightful new book, which also offers pearls of Buddhist wisdom from a cat’s point of view. The principles are sprinkled so subtly throughout the book that you may not even be consciously aware of them, but they will have a lasting impact nonetheless.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring offers gentle but profound lessons about life and most importantly, happiness – where it comes from, how to be joyful not just in the moment but for a lifetime, and how to discover more of the things that make you purr. Although the Dalai Lama’s cat walks on four legs instead of two, the wisdom she uncovers through various events can be applied to all of our lives.
My only disappointment is that the Dalai Lama was absent for most of the book, having left on a trip at the start of the story and returning just a few pages from the end. I do understand the point for his absence – a valuable lesson learned – but I loved the interaction of the Dalai Lama and Little Snow Lion (his affectionate name for the cat) in the first book, and was hoping for more of that.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.