I have to admit, cats are one of my favourite things in the world. The gentle purr, soft and warm body, head bumping… I could continue on and on about it, because, God damn it, I just love the animal!
So it made sense for me to make a list of my favourite book cats. And you know what? It felt like picking a favourite child. I have to admit that I have forgotten a lot of cats I’ve read about… So here are some honorable mentions: Behemoth (Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov), baltais kaķis (Kaķīša Dzirnavas by Kārlis Skalbe), Salem Saberhagen (Sabrina the teenage Witch by various authors (note: I mean the book series I read when I was little, not comics of TV series)) and I want to mention Garfield as well, because I deemed his comics to not fit into the literary genre. So here we go…
5. Mogget after serving Abhorsen became a friend and servant of Sabriel in a book by Garth Nix. He isn’t really a cat… more like a demon trapped in cat’s form, but he is more often feline than not, so it counts. I loved Mogget in the first book (haven’t read the sequels yet), he always had witty responses and funny remarks plus the mystery of him all together made him a great character and being a cat cannot really hurt a character.
4. Crookshanks in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling. This might feel like a definite for some, yet I wasn’t sure about it, because Crookshanks doesn’t appear that much in the books. I like the cats story – the fact that Hermione got him because no one else wanted him seems like a thing I would do. I love the cats colour, the fact that he is half kneazle and can detect when untrustworthy people are around and in general is more intelligent than an average cat. And while I am on Harry Potter, I will drop in a freeby: I feel like I have to mention Umbridge as well. I am probably the only person on the planet who liked her, but her old cat lady spirit speaks to me.
3. Mister Kindly from Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is somewhat debatable cat, first of all, because I haven’t finished reading the book yet, so my judgment might be clouded by how I want to trust him. Second of all he is not a real cat, he is a shadow in a shape of cat. The reason I like Mr Kindly mostly is because he cares. He might be an evil or good spirit, but he cares about his ‘owner’ – Mia and he helps her in his own way. But what made me like him more is how he is also scared and shows other emotions than just comic remarks, and that makes it easier to relate to him.
2. Kawamura in Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami. This is a very complicated novel and I am not going to try to explain it, I will just explain the cat. Nakata is a slow man, but he has a special gift – ability to talk and understand cats (awesome, right?). He uses this ability to find lost cats in his local area and returning them to their owners. Once he stumbles on a particularly hard case and Kawamura is one of the cats he tries to question to find out what happened to the missing cat. But Kawamura is very repetitive and speaks in strange sentences because he is addled after being hit by bicycle. He is a lovely and sweet character and although doesn’t really appear that much, I liked him a lot. As there are many other cats in this book, I should mention Otsuka and Mimi too. I liked their characters.
I love and hate this book at the same time, but mostly I loved Nakata’s attitude towards cats.
1. Chibi in The Guest Cat by Hiraide Takashi. As you can understand, the cat is in the center of attention of this book, it is a book about love and loss and although I didn’t really like it (I cried though), I loved the protagonist in it – Chibi. She was so cute, friendly and nice to people, yet she also had her own life and it kind of made me look at the world from the eyes of a cat.
As we can see cats are very often used as a sign of magic, but sometimes they are just… cats. And while looking out for all the books I’ve read with cats in them, I found a whole lot of cat books I haven’t read, which means that this will probably be revisited!