My Top Three: Cats in Literature

If you don’t know it by now, I’ll say it again. I’m an avid reader. It’s one of the things that helps my mental health – even if it doesn’t help my savings account. But I’m also a cat person – yes, my dogs would be shocked if they knew! I love our dogs, but deep down I honestly just love the comforting purr of a cat on your lap. There’s so comforting about them, especially on a cold winter’s day when you’re curled up yourself on the couch with a blanket, and suddenly there’s a cat meowing at you and jumping up to snuggle down next to you.

Interestingly enough – and the reason for this blog post – today is International Cat Day, and I wanted to celebrate. I don’t currently have a cat, as our last one sadly died about two years ago now. I can’t believe it’s been that long… I honestly miss having a cat about the house. Yes, maybe there’s less hair, and the furniture is safe from claws… but really, who doesn’t laugh when they’re making the bed while the cat climbs under the covers or into the duvet?

Anyway. To celebrate International Cat Day, and to link it to my equal love of books, I wanted to share my top three favourite cats from literature. I honestly love these furry fuzzballs, and they absolutely made me – in part – love the books because of their characters.

So, without further ado, let’s get into checking out some literature cats.

Cat One – Faithful from Tamora Pierce’s ‘Song of the Lioness’ Series

Oh, Faithful. I love the ‘Song of the Lioness’ series. Alanna is one of my favourite female characters, but the inclusion of Faithful was just the icing on the cake. I think Faithful was a he – if I remember rightly, and was a gift from the Great Mother Goddess to Alanna, to protect her and look out for her, because Alanna was one of the Great Mother Goddess’ chosen.

Faithful was just that. Faithful, loyal, and true. He could talk only to Alanna (although I have a funny feeling maybe George Cooper could hear him too? Anyway.), and his wisdom was well listened to – after all, he was sent from the Gods. Otherwise, he was a typical cat. Affectionate when he wanted to be, purring when necessary to keep Alanna at ease, and of course when he was happy, and the fact that he could talk was just a really nice touch by Tamora Pierce.

I also loved how Faithful and Alanna both had purple eyes… I would love to see a cat with purple eyes in real life, and if it’s a black cat too… Well, his name would have to be Faithful.

Cat Two – Maurice from Terry Pratchett’s ‘The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents’

Terry Pratchett creates amazing characters, and Maurice lives up to that expectation. He is the brains behind a cohort of rats and a kid piper, travelling through different towns to con the local populace into paying them to get rid of the rat problem (which, incidentally, was caused by them in the first place, and the rats themselves are on Maurice’s side…).

I’ve read this book a number of times, and I wish I could read it again just for Maurice. My copy is up in the attic somewhere, however, so it looks like I’ll have to wait a bit for my Maurice fix. He is cunning and wily as a fox, even if he is a cat, and interestingly enough the kid piper he runs with can completely understand him – yes, he can talk as well.

Of course, when things start to go a bit wrong in the book, Maurice is all over it, trying to discover the whys and wherefores. He is a typical cat – clever, cunning, and, well, just cool. 

Cat Three – Simkin from Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’

I love watching the television adaptation of ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’ every year. It’s a sweet little Christmas-themed story. The book, of course, is just as lovely. It’s about a tailor in Gloucester, as the title suggests, and he’s been tasked with creating a lovely coat ready for a Christmas wedding. But, sadly, the tailor becomes very ill and can’t complete the coat. So, instead, the mice who live in his shop decide to finish it for him.

Enter Simkin, the tailor’s cat. I have to say, he’s only a favourite because this is one of my favourite stories. Simpkin actually is quite a true-to-form cat, in the sense that he’s more interested in capturing the mice about the shop than doing anything good. Most times he is thwarted by these attempts by the cheeky and clever nature of the mice, or even the tailor himself. 

I like Simpkin because of the fact that he’s a true-natured cat. He does things when he wants to, is a bit scowly at times, but in the end he looks after the tailor in his time of need. He doesn’t talk most of the time, except on Christmas Eve – when all animals are able to speak.

So, another talking cat indeed… aren’t they great? 

That’s my top three cats in literature! Share in the comments below your favourite cats, from Crookshanks to the Cheshire Cat. There’s honestly so many… and I didn’t even write about Greebo from Terry Pratchett.

Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x


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