While the Cat’s Away: 13 Books About Our Favorite Felines

January 28 2016
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When they’re not pawing the pages and competing for your attention, a cat can be the perfect reading companion. Not only do they make great lap warmers and confidants, cats have also made their way into some of our favorite books! From the hometown heroes and family pets to the magical, talking, vodka-drinking whiskered fiends below, there is bound to be a cat-centric book for even the dog lovers out there.

Dewey the Library Cat
by Vicki Myron

For book and cat lovers alike, this charming true story about a small-town library resident will make you want to hop inside its pages. Dewey resides in the library of quaint little Spencer, Iowa, and his tales of adventure through the aisles and of his connections with the locals are sweet and fun.

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Dewey the Library Cat
Vicki Myron

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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
by T.S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot’s playful look at all of the reasons we love cats, as well as all of the quirks and personality traits they possess. His poems are lighthearted odes to the mischievous, lazy, hungry companions we keep, and are also the inspiration for the musical “Cats.”

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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
T.S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot's playful cat poems have delighted readers and cat lovers around the world ever since they were first published in 1939. They were originally composed for his godchildren, with Eliot posing as Old Possum himself, and later inspired the legendary musical "Cats."

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The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov

This darkly comedic and gripping novel explores deals with the devil, Stalinist Russia, and the difficulties of love. This witty classic is made great by the presence of Behemoth, a sarcastic, shape-shifting cat who loves to drink vodka and inspire mischief.

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The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov

Written during the darkest period of Stalin's repressive reign and a devastating satire of Soviet life, it combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with incident and with historical, imaginary, frightful and wonderful characters. Although completed in 1940, The Master and Margarita was not published until 1966 when the first section appeared in the monthly magazine Moskva. Russians everywhere responded enthusiastically to the novel's artistic and spiritual freedom and it was an immediate and enduring success.

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Kafka on the Shore
by Haruki Murakami

This ambitious and expansive novel will amaze, entertain, and bewitch you. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy who runs away from home and an aging simpleton who never recovered from a wartime affliction.

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Kafka on the Shore
Haruki Murakami

This ambitious and expansive novel will amaze, entertain, and bewitch you. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy who runs away from home and an aging simpleton who never recovered from a wartime affliction.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
by Lewis Carroll

If you’ve never read about the Cheshire Cat, you’re missing out on perhaps the cleverest and most eccentric literary feline. The smiling philosopher perplexes the young heroine, especially with his ability to disappear at will.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Lewis Carroll

In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps the most popular heroine in English literature. Countless scholars have tried to define the charm of the Alice books–with those wonderfully eccentric characters the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum, and Tweedledee, the Cheshire Cat, Mock Turtle, the Mad Hatter et al.–by proclaiming that they really comprise a satire on language, a political allegory, a parody of Victorian children’s literature, even a reflection of contemporary ecclesiastical history. Perhaps, as Dodgson might have said, Alice is no more than a dream, a fairy tale about the trials and tribulations of growing up–or down, or all turned round–as seen through the expert eyes of a child.

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The Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling

Kipling’s classic jungle adventure features not one, but two striking cats! Bagheera, our young hero Mowgli’s mentor, is a former captive panther with enough cunning and confidence to earn him the respect of the jungle. The other big kitty in this book is the notorious tiger, Shere Khan, who stalks Mowgli throughout his life and tries to assert himself as the “Lord of the Jungle.”

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The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling

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Life of Pi
by Yann Martel

Yann Martel’s gripping novel is the perfect read for even a non-cat lover! The cat in question is Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger accompanying a shipwrecked young boy named Pi. Throughout their joint struggle to stay alive and afloat, Pi comes to rely on Richard Parker for companionship, to help him stay strong.

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Life of Pi
Yann Martel

A ship sinks and sixteen year old Pi finds himself in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. A mesmerizing tale that keeps you guessing long after you turn the last page

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I Am Pusheen the Cat
by Claire Belton

Never has a cartoon cat so perfectly captured the essence of not only felines, but essentially human emotions. This Internet sensation simplistically paints the portrait of a fat, lazy cat with entertaining lifestyle choices and a penchant for making its reader think “that’s just like me!”

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I Am Pusheen the Cat
Claire Belton

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Breakfast at Tiffany's
by Truman Capote

This iconic book’s heroine, Holly Golightly, is remembered for her eccentricity and style. But it is really her one possession, Cat, who humanizes Holly more than any attempt by the narrator. Cat perfectly reflects Holly’s distant nature as he is the only thing she cares for and keeps close.

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Breakfast at Tiffany's
Truman Capote

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Pet Sematary
by Stephen King

Stephen King is the master of haunting tales and this is no exception. An idyllic family, complete with a nice little cat, falls victim to the temptation of the powerful woods near their new home. After resurrecting the cat with the mystic abilities of the land, Creed family patriarch Louis fails to learn from the effects the revival has on the animal, with fatal consequences to his family.

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Pet Sematary
Stephen King

This is probably the most frightening novel Stephen King has ever written. When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son and now an idyllic home. As a family, they've got it all...right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth, more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful.The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.

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Grumpy Cat
by Grumpy Cat

Cats have the Internet wrapped around their little paws, and Grumpy Cat might just be their king! Chock full of pictures of the grouchy feline, this book also advises on “the art of grumpiness” and includes activities and tips on perfecting a bad attitude.

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Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat

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A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

A feel-good story about an old man named Ove (pronounced “Oo-ve” in case you were wondering) who could rival even Grumpy Cat’s sour demeanor, this book is a perfect example of why we love cats. With the help of a sweet neighboring family and an insistent stray, Ove is able to overcome his grief at having lost his wife and shed his bitter ways. The cat has that certain special feline way of wearing the curmudgeon down until they become the best of pals.

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A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”

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Downton Tabby
by Chris Kelly

Welcome to Downton Tabby, where the aristocrats of the animal kingdom dwell in stately splendor. Sleeping, grooming, sleeping some more, and being fed by their downstairs cats, they are unaware that their way of life—providing work for others—is about to be swept away by the tides of history . . . and runaway cars. 

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Downton Tabby
Chris Kelly

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