Six Off-the-Beaten Track Cat Reads

T.S. Eliot wasn’t the only one to write about cats. Here are a few cat-themed essays and books that you might not have come across in your daily prowling…

The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr, E.T.A. Hoffman (1818)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoffman’s brilliant, bizarre, post-modern cat’s cradle of a book sees the Tomcat Murr, an educated feline, write his own biography.

The Cat Inside, William Burroughs (1986)

Some people say that Burroughs loved three things: guns, drugs and cats. The Cat Inside is his utterly unique musing on the cats he has known, as well as his transformation from cat-ambivalence to cat worship.

Le Chat, Emily Brontë (1842)

An essay, written in French while Bronte was studying in Belgium. In it, Bronte defends the cat, stating that their self-reliance is far better than the hypocrisy of humans. Quite.

The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)

Not entirely about cats, but who can forget Behemoth, the enormous, fast-talking rogue of a black cat in Bulgahov’s hallucinogenic Russian satire?

Frida, The Perfect Familiar, Alice Walker (1997)

Another essay! A lovely, honest one in Alice’s Walker’s non-fiction collection, about how, and when, even an independent cat can become the perfect companion to us, and we to them.

Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat, Ursula Moray Williams (1942)

I loved this unusual story as a child, about a black kitten with one white paw (from being bathed in moonlight). Gobbolino is born to be a witch’s familiar but longs for nothing more than to be a humble kitchen cat.

About the author:
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Lili Hayward is a writer from the south west of England with a love for all things hidden, lost and historical. She lives with her partner in the Westcountry and keeps the company of two beautiful and opinionated ex-stray cats. You can find her on twitter @lilihayward. 

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She is the author of The Cat of Yule Cottage: a magical tale of land, love, friendship, the Yuletide… and one remarkable cat.

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The Cat of Yule Cottage is published by Hodder. The paperback is available in bookshops for £7.99 and the ebook is currently on sale for only £0.99p!

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24 thoughts on “Six Off-the-Beaten Track Cat Reads

  1. I am reading the first one right now. A few pages at a time when waiting for the bus to depart or the train to arrive. In German. Die beliebte Reclam-Ausgabe … Has literary qualities, with two stories interwoven, the story of a human, a musician, and the story of the tomcat.

    In Germany another author has produced nice cat-novels (and some less nice ones – not everyone is a winner). Andrea Schacht. Jägermond (I am pretty sure there is no English translation, but as you are German, you might still enjoy them, there are three of them).

      1. BTW – for me it is not an accomplishment to read it in German, I am a native German. It would be somehow weird if I read that book in English. I read other books in English, when by English or American, sometimes by French authors (my French is very, very limited!). But sometimes I even read those in German. And The Tomcat Murr is rather old-fashioned German – think of Charles Dickens’ English.

  2. Just bought the e-book versions of the Hoffman book and The Cat of Yule Cottage. Gobbolino is one of my favourite books from my childhood, have bought a hardback version to re-read it.

  3. I read Lillian Jackson Braun who has two Siamese cats who help the detective, and love the James Herriot’s books which feature all animals but the kids book The Christmas Kitten is written by him and has pretty illustrations.

  4. Thanks for sharing these. I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to look? Wishing you a nice afternoon, Sam 🙂

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