Posted February 3, 2014 by in Book Lists

Sneaky Book Cats: A List of Great Literary Cats

Great literary cats abound.

Here are some of our favorites:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

While this classic tale gives readers a glimpse of a dreamlike land where everything is nonsense and Alice’s wishes have become real, none of the queer creatures or people are able to give Alice a spare moment until she meets the Cheshire Cat. His suggestions and clarifications don’t help very much, but that’s a cat for you.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This book has several cats that surreptitiously propel the story forward. The main character is transported to another world, accompanied by a kitten who pricks him with its claws at an inopportune time, causing a mysterious thing to happen.

plainkatePlain Kate by Erin Bow

Kate appears to be a loner for most of the beginning of the story until she nurses three kittens back to life. While two of them leave her as soon at they are able, the grey one lingers by her side. When a magic character digs through her thoughts to find her fondest wish, he grants it without telling her what it is. Kate is surprised to be greeted by Toggle the cat, whose newly granted voice was apparently Kate’s fondest wish, so that she would not be alone anymore. The unlikely friend turns out to be much more important to the plot than he first appeared.

Sneaky Pie Brown & Rita May Brown

This author not only writes about cats solving murders, but attributes part authorship to her own cat and the sneakiest of book cats, Sneaky Pie Brown. The books are cozy mysteries where Sneaky Pie along with a cast of familiar pet characters combine their efforts to track down the culprit.

The Cat Who… series by Lilian Jackson Braun

While the mysteries in this series of novels are solved by newspaper reporter James Qwilleran, the books seem to imply that his cats, Koko and Yum Yum, solve the crime long before he does. Cat lovers will love the details and color these two felines impart with their characteristic snooping.

life-of-piLife of Pi by Yann Martel

Challenging the reader with a situation that is either philosophical or actual, this adventure story has the main character stranded on a life boat with a 450-pound tiger for 227 days. Award-winning and now made into a movie, the story is said to elicit a new perspective or at least a few humorous chuckles from the reader.

tiffany'sBreakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Better known for the film rendition starring Audrey Hepburn, this story is about a girl who believes nothing bad can ever happen at Tiffany’s. Exuding ideal grace and charm, Holly Golightly is revealed by the way she treats a creatures she simply refers to as “cat.” While claiming not to care about or control the cat, this accidental sidekick seems to represent her aimless, wandering spirit, and Holly’s actions towards it are quite telling.

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat

A gruesome tale of madness and violence told through an unreliable narrator, the cat in this story meets an untimely end only to haunt its murderer through his own madness.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

This spooky horror story doesn’t reveal its strange secret until the family’s cat, Winston Churchill or “Church” for short, is run over by a truck. Sure enough, Church returns to life after being buried, although he doesn’t act as lively. Once they’re shown that there is “another cemetery” where you can bury a pet and have it come back to life, the town begins to see a lot more strange things.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

This metaphysical work of fiction will remind you of a modern fantasy book with some dreamlike qualities thrown in. Along with rainstorms of fish, oedipal prophecies, and a transgendered librarian, the characters are unfazed by conversations that they casually have with these sneaky book cats.

mangoA Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

This young adult book is about a girl who associates colors with almost everything, including numbers, words, and sounds, in a condition called synaesthesia. Her cat, Mango, leaves an important impression on the girl and naturally also is featured in the title of this book.


What’s your favorite sneaky book cat?

Lauren V. Bryant

Having studied library and information sciences in a graduate program at San Jose State University, Lauren is a professional librarian who has worked in school and public libraries. She currently works at a public library where she helps the public get e-books and other downloadables on their devices. Check out Lauren's website, http://www.LaurentheLibrarian.com/ for more book related articles and content. Check out all my articles.