cat books

Review: Lost Cat by Caroline Paul

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I approached reading Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology with apprehension. I find the thought of a cat going missing so gut-wrenching, it’s just not something I want to think about a whole lot. But thankfully, Caroline Paul’s cat Tibby wasn’t lost forever – five weeks after he disappeared, he returned home, looking fat and happy. And the author and her partner and illustrator of the book, Wendy MacNaughton, found themselves wondering where Tibby had gone and why he had left.

To answer these questions, Caroline and Wendy turned into stalkers. From GPS tracking devices to animal communicators, pet detectives and psychics, to covert missions through their neighborhood, they stopped at nothing to uncover the mystery of Tibby’s disappearance. Those of us who have occasionally demonstrated even mildly obsessive behavior when it comes to our cats will recognize ourselves in this poignant memoir.Continue Reading

Meet Leann Sweeney, Author of the Cats in Trouble Series

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I’ve been enjoying the Cats in Trouble series, featuring cat quilter Jillian Hart, who settled in the small town of Grace, South Carolina with her three cats, since the very first book. The latest in the series, The Cat, The Mill and the Murder, was just released yesterday.

In this installment in the delightful series, Jillian volunteers to help a local animal shelter relocate a colony of feral cats living in an abandoned textile mill. She never expects to find a woman living there, too. The woman, who went missing from Mercy, South Carolina, a decade ago, refuses to leave the mill or abandon Boots, her cat who died years ago. After the woman is hurt in an accident and is taken away, those who’ve come to town to help repurpose the mill make a terrible discovery, and Jillian tries to unearth a long-kept and dark secret with the help of a mysterious new feline friend.

Look for a review of The Cat, The Mill and The Murder on The Conscious Cat soon.Continue Reading

Review: Skinny the Cat and the Magic of Kindness by Donna Rawlins

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Cats can teach us a lot of things, including how to make the world a better place. In Skinny the Cat and the Magic of Kindness, Donna Rawlins shares the story of a neighborhood cat who wins her heart.

From the publisher:

When Skinny, a neighbor’s scrawny rescue cat, sets out to win the affection of the author’s own cantankerous kitty, at first the fur flies-but Skinny knows a secret that can change the world: how to love with unwavering persistence. For weeks, Skinny faithfully showed up at the author’s door hoping to get a glimpse of her feline princess-sometimes getting a triple right paw punch for his pains. But her unlovable behavior never stopped him from loving her. Skinny will open your heart, too: he’s the cat who not only refused to give up, but who showed an entire community the miracles that can happen when you practice loving kindness. Skinny reminds us that those who appear to be the least deserving of our compassion and gentleness often need it the most, and that loving those who seem unlovable offers healing for ourselves and for the planet.Continue Reading

Review: Parrots Prove Deadly by Clea Simon

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Clea Simon’s cat-centric murder mysteries. I knew I would enjoy Parrots Prove Deadly, the third in Simon’s Pet Noir series featuring pet behaviorist and psychic Pru Marlowe – I just didn’t realize just how much I would love it.

Pru is hired to retrain the parrot of a woman who has died in a retirement home. The parrot needs a new home, but isn’t likely to find one with the vocabulary of swear words he seems to have acquired, and the dead woman’s family is hoping that Pru can help. As Pru starts working with the bird, she is wondering whether some of the parrot’s words are a replay of the woman’s death, and whether that death could have possibly been a murder. The only other possible witnesses are a blind neighbor, her seeing-eye dog, and a non-commital health care aide. Pru can’t help herself: she begins to look into the woman’s death, and she gets drawn into a tangled web of family dynamics, possible land fraud, and a potential rabies outbreak.

With the help of her cantankerous tabby Wallis, Continue Reading

Copy Cat Festival entertains cat lovers

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Guest post by Clea Simon

Somerville, MA is not Minneapolis. But this gritty little city, living cheek by jowl with Boston, is not only fun and funky (second only in artists per capita to New York) but also feline friendly. And so, after seeing the success of the Internet Cat Video Festival at the bigger city’s Walker Art Center, Somerville got on board with the honestly named Copy Cat Festival. Despite a winter storm that brought an additional several inches of snow and gale-force winds to town, on Sunday, February 17, the Somerville Arts Council hosted a total of 600 cat lovers at two iterations of a three-hour fest of local and international cat videos, cat photography and poetry, with a few feline surprise guests thrown in.

Maybe it was the call for local participation. According to the Boston Globe, four dozen local videos were submitted to the cat fest board, which included members of the arts council and Somerville Community Access Television (which was renamed for the festival as “Community Access Television of Somerville” or “CATS”). Tickets for the festival, which was originally scheduled for 4-7 p.m. at the Somerville Armory, were quickly sold out, necessitating the scheduling of an earlier, noon-3 p.m. showing.Continue Reading

Review and giveaway: Celebrity Cat Names by Christina Hamilton

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Let’s face it, we’re a celebrity obsessed culture, and that obsession extends to celebrity pets as well. If you enjoy following celebrities, and if you’ve ever wondered about famous cat lovers and their beloved cats, you’ll enjoy Celebrity Cat Names.

From the publisher:

Celebrity stories from Cleopatra to Beyoncé revealed through their cats. From the legend of Prophet Mhammed’s Muezza to the tragic story of Kim Kardashian’s Mercy; from Thomas Hardy’s Kiddleywinkempoops to Big Bang Theory Sheldon’s scientist cats. A diverse mixture of fun facts about historical and contemporary celebrities, chock full of gorgeous cat photos, quotes and tales, Celebrity Cat Names is purrfect for everyone who loves cats.Continue Reading

My 10 favorite cat books of 2012

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I read so many wonderful cat books all year long, it’s really hard to pick only ten favorites, especially since the books cover such a wide diversity of genres. Here are my ten favorites for 2012, in the order in which I reviewed them:

Grey Expectations Clea Simon cover

Grey Expectations by Clea Simon – but really, the entire series featuring Harvard grad student Dulcie Schwartz, her kitten Esme and her ghost cat Mr. Grey. These well-crafted, cat-centric mysteries are a joy to read.

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Cats Can’t Shoot by Clea Simon. The second in Simon’s Pet Noir series,Continue Reading

Review: Paw Prints in the Moonlight by Denis O’Connor

Paw Prints in the Moonlight Denis O'Connor

I often feel that I overuse the words “charming” and “delightful” in my reviews of the many wonderful cat books I read, but they are the first two words that came to mind after I finished Paw Prints in the Moonlight: The Heartwarming True Story of One Man and His Cat. However, they really don’t do the book justice, because it is so much more.

From the publisher:

When Denis O’Connor rescues a three-week-old kitten from certain death during a snowstorm, little does he know how this tiny creature will change his life forever. Against all odds the kitten—whom he names Toby Jug—survives and turns out to be a wondrous Maine Coon Cat extraordinaire. Life with Toby is never dull, and Denis and Toby embark on a series of sometimes comical, sometimes poignant adventuresContinue Reading

Gina Gershon talks about losing, and finding her cat

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Most people know Gina Gershon as a prolific movie and television actress with such movies as Bound, Face Off, and Showgirls to her credit. But since the publication of her book, In Search of Cleo, Gina has also become known as a cat person.

In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind is the story of Gina’s two-month search for her beloved cat Cleo, after her assistant lost the cat while taking her to a groomer in Los Angeles.

I had a chance to speak with Gina via telephone last week while she was on tour to promote her book in Miami.

My first question was, of course, about that two-month period in her life when Cleo was missing.Continue Reading

Review: In Search of Cleo by Gina Gershon

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Movie and television actress Gina Gershon (Showgirls, Curb Your Enthusiasm) considers herself a cat lady. In her new book, In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind, Gershon recounts the story of the two-month search for her beloved cat Cleo, after her assistant lost the cat while taking her to a groomer in Los Angeles.

Cleo, a beautiful black panther, came into Gerhson’s life while she was living in New York City. One snowy night, she heard the tiny black kitten howling in her building’s courtyard. She opened her window, and quietly gave directions to the scared kitten on how to come inside through her bedroom window: “Go to the left, onto the table, jump to the slight ledge that leads to my window, and come inside!” Before she knew it, the kitten leaped inside, right into Gina’s arms. It was love at first sight. Gershon’s boyfriend was not a cat person, but the kitten won him over in no time, and Gershon decided to name the little master seductress Cleopatra. A subsequent visit to the vet revealed that Cleo was a he, but Gershon had gotten so used to calling “her” Cleo that she didn’t want to change the  name.

Gina lived every cat parent’s nightmare when she came back from the Cannes film festival and was told that Cleo had gone missing.Continue Reading

A visit from Midnight Louie and Carole Nelson Douglas

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Guest post by Carole Nelson Douglas

Midnight Louie is delighted that I was invited to write about him for the Conscious Cat and pleased to see photos of attractive torties on the site. (Frankly, like any hard-boiled PI, he can’t resist a female of any species.) And that may be mutual, much as I hate to encourage him. He looks gorgeously dapper on the cover of his latest release, Cat in a White Tie and Tails.

We have a tortie at home, rescued off the neighbor’s roof at 6 a.m. She’s called Amberleigh because she has green eyes and (some) red hair, like the Irish heroine of my first book of that name.

Midnight Louie was a rescue cat before he became a literary lion. Actually, he would deny he had needed “rescuing.” He was a motel cat. Continue Reading