The cover of this book caught my eye when I saw it scroll past my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago, and I had to investigate – and I sure am glad I did. This collection of cat tales and photographs from the Times’ archives, dating back to 1872, is a treasure for cat lovers.

With headlines like “Fifty Cats Fight Firemen To Reach Burning Fish,” “Psychologist Finds Cats Are Anarchists,” and “Curious Black Cat Disrupts Opera; Takes Stage in Tragic Moment,” this book, which also features plenty of wonderful photos, is an utter delight.


Or maybe you’d rather read “Who Stole Egan’s Steak?” (hint: the official mouse catcher of a police station may have been involved in the caper.) Then there’s “Smart Cat Joins Harvard Club and Enjoys Crabmeat and Mice.” Or how about “Cat and Bird Declare Truce; Latter Uses Former as a Taxi?”


But this is not just a book about cats. This collection also reminds us how newspapers used to be put together before there were computers. When it came to laying out a paper, it was often educated guesswork rather than exact science, and frequently, editors would need short items to fill empty space on a page. Some of the stories in the book are “shorts,” but others are too long and must have been actual assignments from the Times newsroom.

Cats of the Times is available from the New York Times Store.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from The New York Times. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest opinion, or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest opinion.

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