My 10 favorite cat books of 2011


I read and reviewed a lot of great cat books this year, and it was really hard to pick just ten favorites, especially since the books cover such a wide range from murder mystery to memoir to childrens’ book. Here are my ten favorites, in no particular order:

Grey Zone by Clea Simon. I had eagerly anticipated this third book in Clea’s Dulcie Schwartz series, featuring Harvard graduate student Dulcie Schwartz, Mr. Grey, the spirit of her beloved feline, who offered wise advice and comfort to Dulcie in the past, and Esme, her mischievous and sometimes destructive kitten.  Once again, Dulcie finds herself drawn into an increasingly complicated tangle of possible suspects, motives, and murder.Continue Reading

Book review: Urban Tigers by Kathy Chisholm


I first heard about Urban Tigers: Tales of a Cat Vet when a friend forwarded me an e-mail about the book. She had received her e-mail from a cat vet friend, and it included endorsements by two of the premiere feline veterinarians in North America, Dr. Susan Little and Dr. Margie Scherk. Dr. Little called it a “must-read for all vets, vets-to-be & cat lovers”. Dr. Scherk called it “a delightful read.” I had to know more. When my copy arrived, I could hardly wait to get started.

I wasn’t disappointed. Urban Tigers is the story of Dr. Emily McBride’s first year at the Ocean View Cat Hospital in Nova Scotia, Canada. Under the guidance of the flamboyant Dr. Hughie Doucette, Emily encounters a wide variety of cat loving clients, ranging from the retired history professor whose cherished felines only drink bottled water to the self-proclaimed cat psychic whose cat has a lot to say about just how he’d like things to be. At first, Emily is treated as the “new kid on the block” by Dr. Doucette’s clients, but she quickly earns the trust and respect of the colorful and entertaining residents of the small town the clinic is located in.Continue Reading

Book review: Moo Kitty Finds a Home by Valerie Lee Veltre

Moo Kitty Finds a Home

Moo Kitty Finds a Home is a heartwarming story about the benefits of adopting an older cat. The charmingly illustrated book introduces young children to the concepts of abandoned animals, rescue and adoption.

A sad turn of events leaves Moo Kitty alone, grieving and frightened of the world beyond his rose garden. Accompanied by three feline guardian angels, Moo Kitty finds himself in a shelter. While life is better again than it was when he was all alone out on the street, he watches all his young kitten friends being adopted, and he has a hard time keeping his spirits up. Then, one day, his new family finds him. Love, compassion and friendship are just some of the life lessons that Moo Kitty learns on his journey to find a new home.Continue Reading

Book review and giveaway: Forever Paws by Christine Davis

Forever Paws cover

I first came across Christine Davis’ books when a friend gave me a copy of For Every Cat an Angel  after Virginia, my first office cat at the animal hospital I ran for eight years, passed away. That was ten years ago. To this day, the little book lies on an end table in my living room, a lovely reminder of a cat who took a little piece of my heart when she left, the way they all do. I have since given a copy of this little book, and of For Every Dog an Angel, to friends who lost beloved pets. Both books celebrate the love we have for our special pets.

And now, there’s a new book by Christine Davis, Forever Paws, a book that will help heal the heart after saying good bye to a special friend. Just before Christmas last year, the author unexpectedly lost her beloved cat Dickens to a cancer noone even knew he had until a few hours before his passing. Chris had barely caught her breath when she learned that Dickens’ brother, her forever cat Pippin, also had cancer. He died a few days after Dickens.

The last thing Chris wanted to do after suffering so much loss so close together was write another book.Continue Reading

Book review and giveaway: For the Love of Cats by Sandy Robins


Why do we love cats? Because they’re beautiful, smart, curious, playful and independent. These are just some of the reasons I thought of right off the top of my head.

Sandy Robins has taken answering the question a step further in her new book, For the Love of Cats: An A-Z Primer for Cat Lovers of All Ages, by offering up 26 reasons. Her alphabet covers interesting facts, anecdotes and clever verses, enhanced by Mark Anderson’s charming illustrations.

Among the interesting facts and anecdotes included in this cat alphabet:Continue Reading

Book review and giveaway: The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey by Deborah Barnes

The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey

The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey: A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary is a love story. It’s the unlikely love story of Zee, a lovable Maine Coon cat, and Zoey, a high-spirited Bengal. It’s also a story of love’s consequences and human fallibility, when the author, a strong proponent of spaying and neutering pets, gets sidetracked by a busy holiday season and misses the window of opportunity to get Zoey spayed in time. The subsequent birth of Zee and Zoey’s kittens is a truly extraodinary journey for the human and feline members of the author’s household.

Most people who adopt kittens aren’t able to bring them home until they’re at least 10 or 12 weeks old, because ideally, kittens shouldn’t be separated from their mothers any sooner than that. In The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey, the reader gets a rare glimpse into what a kitten’s life is like during the first eight weeks of its life. And what an adventure it is!Continue Reading

Giveaway: Dewey’s Nine Lives by Vicky Myron

Dewey's Nine Lives Vicky Myron

In Dewey’s Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions, Vicky Myron offers nine stories about some very special cats, inspired by the thosands of letters and e-mails she received from readers around the world after the phenomenally successful publication of Dewey: The Small-Town Libary Cat Who Touched the World.

The new paperback edition, which will be released November 1, includes two new stories about Dewey himself and features seven new real-life tales of friendship including the story of a Vietnam veteran whose heart was opened by his relationship with a rescued cat and the story of a woman who vows she will never love another cat until a special one unexpectedly comes into her life. The book also shares the love story of author Vicki Myron and Glen Alberton, and their unexpected connection through Dewey himself.Continue Reading

Book review and giveaway: Cooking with Clyde by Sue Cassidy

Cooking with Clyde cover

I came across Sue Cassidy’s Singing Sue Chef blog via a Google search a while back, and the cute logo caught my eye. Even though I don’t cook, I enjoy reading recipes. Weird, I know. Anyway, I investigated a little further, and it turns out that Sue was in the process of writing a book about cooking with the feline love of her life, Clyde. Now I was really intrigued.

I connected with Sue on Facebook, and realized that she lived in Northern Virginia, so we decided to meet for lunch one day. Sue picked my brain about publishing, and I enjoyed getting to know a fellow cat lover and soon to be published author.Continue Reading

Book review and giveaway: Cat Calls by Jeanne Adlon and Susan Logan

Cat Calls Susan Logan Jeanne Adlon

Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter combines two of my favorite things in one book: cats, and New York City. Jeanne Adlon has been a cat sitter in Manhattan for thirty-five years, and has cared for hundreds of cats. I looked forward to reading her stories, which range from keeping cats kosher and feeding pampered felines out of Waterford goblets to wrestling a determined cat for the Thanksgiving turkey and playing ghost with a psychic cat. There’s even a story about the time John Lennon came into the pet shop Jeanne ran at the time to purchase the big cat tree out of the front window.Continue Reading

Book Review: The Cat Master by Bonnie Pemberton

The Cat Master is not the kind of book I would have normally picked up, despite the mesmerizing cover. It’s written for ages 10 and up. It’s a fantasy along the lines of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series, which is not something that appeals to me all that much. The book was sent to me along with a number of promotional items from Sticky Paws®, which Bonnie Pemberton invented. I kept moving the book to the bottom of my very large pile of books to be read, but finally, a couple of weekends ago, I decided  to give it a try. And I’m very glad I did.Continue Reading

Great Rescues: a 16-month calendar and gift book

Great Rescues calendar and gift book

I’m a big fan of animal artist and writer Bernadette Kazmarski. Her photographs and cat paintings capture the essence of cats in ways that only a small handful of artists are able to do. Bernadette is a multi-faceted creative spirit:  artist, writer, graphic designer, painter, animal advocate, environmentalist.  From commissioned pet portraits to animal inspired merchandise ranging from prints to textiles to greeting cards, looking around Bernadette’s websites are a feast for the senses. 

Great Rescues is a 16-month desk calendar and gift book featuring 16 portraits of rescued cats Bernadette has been commissioned to paint in the 20 years she has been an animal portrait artist. This sixteen-month calendar and gift book is a labor of love.

“While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, were what compelled me to share them,” says Bernadette. “Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.”

Peaches by animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

I’m particularly thrilled that “Peaches” made it into the calendar. I commissioned this painting as a Christmas gift for a friend last year. The original was absolutely stunning. It’s always difficult to tell when you have an artist paint someone else’s cat whether they truly captured the animal’s spirit. I think that’s something only the pet’s person can truly judge. My friend burst into tears when she opened her gift – that probably speaks volumes, especially since she’s not someone who cries easily. The painting not only captured Peaches’ spirit, it also brought a tremendous amount of peace to my friend. Peaches, at this writing, is 19 years old, and my friend is well aware that time is short. She says the painting will help her keep a part of Peaches with her forever, in a very tangible way.

This is one of the most beautiful cat calendars I’ve seen. The paintings are stunningly beautiful, and the stories are heart touching.  And it’s so much more than just a calendar. It also includes a comprehensive resource section covering feline wellness, health concerns, household toxins and poisons, fun cat facts, and more. The spiral bound book also contains a generous amount of blank pages (with a beautiful faint cat design in the background) for notes, or journaling.

Great Rescues calendar and gift book Bernadette Kazmarski 

The calendar runs from September 2011 through December 2012. You can order the calendar directly through Benadette’s website for the incredibly low price of $19.99 plus shipping. Even though it’s only July, it’s never to early to order Christmas presents – Great Rescues makes a purrfect gift for the cat lovers on your list.

I’m giving away one personalized, autographed copy to one lucky winner. To enter, leave a comment telling me why you would like to win the calendar. Tweet about this giveaway or share it on Facebook for an extra chance to win. This giveaway ends Friday, August 12.

You can learn more about Bernadette Kazmarski and enjoy samples of her gorgeous art and photographs on her website and on her blog.

You may also enjoy reading:

An interview with animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

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