Following on from our look at animated cats on the big and small screen, here are some of our favourite felines from the world of literature. Whether they’re supporting characters in literary masterpieces, or the stars of the show in children’s books, our love for cats translates seamlessly from real life to the pages of a book.
Cats in Literature
The Cat in the Hat
The main character of the children’s book of the same name by the popular writer and illustrator Dr Suess (real name Theodor Geisel), and it’s as popular today as it was back in 1957 when it was first published!
Mistoffelees, Rumpleteazer and Rum Tum Tugger
The cats in T.S. Eliot’s poems in ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ are all fabulously unusual, and many of you will have seen Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, which was based on Eliot’s book. Mistoffelees, Rumpleteazer and Rum Tum Tugger all transferred perfectly from Eliot’s poetry in the 1930s to a modern day musical.
Charming Mog the cat is the star of a series of books by Judith Kerr. She was first introduced in 1970 in ‘Mog the Forgetful Cat’, and had many adventures for 30 years until the series ended sadly with ‘Goodbye, Mog’ in 2002.
‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll is a firm favourite of children of all ages, and has been since it was originally written in 1865. One of the best characters has got to be the grinning Cheshire Cat, whose wide grin floats in the air even when he disappears.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Cat
Truman Capote’s book ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ was made into a well-known film starring the great Audrey Hepburn, but can you remember the name of the cat in it? That’s right, the classic – Cat.
Puss in Boots
The pantomime favourite, started out as a French and Italian fairy-tale in the 17th century about a crafty cat who manages to get his poor master power, wealth and a royal bride by using trickery. It’s been adapted and re-published countless times, and Puss even starred in the animated Shrek films.
Mittens, Moppet and Tom Kitten
‘The Tale of Tom Kitten’ is one of Beatrix Potter’s most loved books, and tells the tale of Tabitha Twitchet and her three kittens, Mittens, Moppet and Tom Kitten.
More poetry, with the wonderful The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. First published in Lear’s 1871 book ‘Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets’, the poem tells of the romance between the two, with the Owl and the Pussycat ending up dancing hand-in-hand on a sandy beach.
Which literary cat is your favourite? Can you think of any other famous cats from books?