Loved "The Goodbye Cat"? You may like these...

Loved "The Goodbye Cat"? You may like these...

Jun 04, 2024Alan Wong

How many here have read and enjoyed The Goodbye Cat by Hiro Arikawa? With the exception of "not cat people", stories about cats tend to be emotionally charged, considering the hold this creature has on our imaginations. Even details such as how they tend to decimate native populations of small animals when left to their own devices seem like a minor blip.

So it's no surprise that people have been writing and publishing stories featuring felines for a long time. Some of us might remember the tale of Puss in Boots or Dick Whittington and his cat. Legends and folklore swirl around these furballs, almost as old as our association with them.

For those who can't get enough feline fables, we've put together a tiny selection of books, most of which are more "hello cat" than "goodbye cat". Without further ado...

Cover of "The Travelling Cat Chronicles" by Hiro Arikawa The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Also written by Arikawa, this heartwarming tale sees Nana the cat on a road trip around Japan with his owner, Satoru Miyawaki. Cruising across the country in a silver van with Nana, Satoru meets up with his old friends and revisits his childhood. How Nana and Satoru first met is revealed, as is the real reason behind Satoru's journey, and little Nana, who's only glad he's along for the ride, will not be prepared.

Cover of "The Guest Cat" by Takashi Hiraide The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide

In a small rented cottage in a peaceful part of Tokyo, a middle-aged couple work at home as freelance copyeditors. However, they have grown apart from one another and barely speak to each other until a cat starts dropping by daily, after which their lives begin to change as they accommodate the visitor and exchange remarks about its habits and antics. But the couple's newfound joy would be upended by changes at home...

Cover of "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" by Vicki Myron (with Bret Witter)Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron (with Bret Witter)
Grand Central Publishing

In January 1988, a weeks-old kitten was found in the drop for returned books at the Spencer Public Library. Christened Dewey Readmore Books, the library cat became the toast of the US town of Spencer, Iowa, for nearly two decades. Dewey was found by the library's director, Vicki Myron, who authored this book with a contributor. Read about how this ball of fuzz returned the favour to the people who saved him, especially the author, and put the town on the map.

Cover of "The Cat Who Went to Paris" by Peter GethersThe Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers
Ballantine Books

The author is neither sociable nor a cat person but learns to be both from a Scottish Fold kitten he receives as a gift. From the day the furball who would be called Norton debuted, Gethers' life would never be the same. The duo travelled together from New York to Paris, flew on planes, rode ferries and subways, and dined at restaurants. First published in 1991, this is the first of three books featuring Norton, who will truly live forever thanks to his owner's writings, full of heart and wit.

Cover of "The Cat Who Saved Books" by Sōsuke Natsukawa The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa (translated by Louise Heal Kawai)

For the reclusive Rintaro Natsuki, his grandfather's second-hand bookshop is the perfect refuge. His grandfather's death leaves him as the bookshop's sole proprietor, but he might have to close it down to move in with a relative. Then a talking tabby cat named Tiger appears and take the boy on several adventures where they save books from people who misuse or mistreat them. As he saves these books and learn about their importance, Rintaro learns more about himself.

Cover of "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot (illustrated by Edward Gorey)

Some might not know that this classic collection of whimsical poems about cats is the basis of Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running musical Cats. First published in 1939, this newer edition features illustrations by Edward Gorey. Reacquaint yourselves with such characters as Rum Tum Tugger, Old Deuteronomy, and the magical Mr Mistoffelees who is always deceiving you into believing that he's only hunting for mice~♪

So, what do you think? Give these a go and see if they work for you. Happy reading!

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