Books Like The Guest Cat
Cats tend to be a little more free-spirited and independent than dogs, which is why it is often the loyal canines that take center stage in many novels. However, this does not mean that felines do not have their own fair share of literary appearances. For example, in his novel, The Guest Cat Takashi Hiraide explores how the uninvited appearances of a stray cat have a profound impact on the lives of a husband and wife who has become estranged. Hiraide is not the only author who has used cats to alter the lives of his characters in some way either. Here are just a few other examples of books like The Guest Cat where felines play an integral role.
by Soseki Natsume
I Am A Cat by Soseki Natsume is a 1905 satirical novel written from the perspective of a cat with a very high opinion of himself. Despite being the ordinary house cat of a teacher, the feline protagonist speaks in a manner more suitable for a nobleman to convey its self-importance. While it is not actually very good at anything, especially catching mice, it is a very keen observer of humans. It is through the eyes of this cat that readers get a closer look at upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. I Am A Cat is considered to be a classic of Japanese literature and cemented the reputation of the author as one of the greatest in Japanese literature.
By David Michie
The Dalai Lama's Cat is the tale of a Himalayan kitten who finds herself rescued from the slums of New Delhi by a staff member of the Dalai Lama. She narrates her own tale as her home becomes a beautiful sanctuary with a view of the snow-capped Himalayas. Sitting on the lap of her new owner, the Dalai Lama, gives the cat plenty of time to observe the constant meetings he has. Everyone from celebrities to self-help authors is eager to speak to His Holiness and the cat is there to witness it all. Not only is this a charming story with a unique narrator, but it is packed with words of wisdom too.
by Gabriel King
The Wild Road is a 1997 novel by Jane Johnson, written under the pseudonym of Gabriel King. It is the tale of a house cat named Tag who is happy with his life of privilege and safety. However, all this changes when tag begins to have dreams of a special mission that only he can undertake and the terrible responsibility that comes with it. Tag learns that these are not mere dreams and that he has until the spring equinox to find the King and Queen of cats and bring them to safety. Guided by a black cat named Majicou, Tag enters a magical highway known only to animals and begins his quest.
by William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs is best known for his 1959 novel, Naked Lunch, but he was also a noted lover of cats. The Cat Inside is an autobiographical novel that was first published in 1986 and features the author reminiscing about the many cats that he encountered in his life. In addition to his own stories about cats the book also explores the bond that has been shared between mankind and cats as far back as the Egyptians. The Cat Inside features plenty of sentimental anecdotes that is a treat to read for fans of the author as well as anyone who loves cats.
by T.S. Eliot
Another famous literary persona who adored cats is T.S. Eliot, best known for poems such as The Waste Land and The Hollow Men. However, in the 1930s he wrote a collection of light poems about felines in letters to his godchildren. These poems were later collected and published as Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It was this collection that later served as the basis for the 1981 musical, Cats, by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
by Edgar Allan Poe
In typical Edgar Allan Poe fashion, his 1843 short story The Black Cat is not a very heartwarming tale. It is told from the perspective of an unreliable narrator who claims to have loved animals from an early age. He also describes Pluto, a beautiful black cat who is just one of the many pets owned by the narrator and his wife. Although he claims to be very fond of Pluto the narrator eventually became an alcoholic and harms the cat during a drunken fit of rage. Things escalate until the narrator kills Pluto, but afterward, strange things begin happening that make him question his own sanity.
by Stephen Spotte
A Conversation With a Cat by Stephen Spotte is the story of a former alley cat named Jinx. Before becoming a house cat, Jinx was an alley cat struggling to survive through scavenging. However, Jinx not only has memories of those bleak days but also the memories of cats who existed before him, including Cleopatra's pampered pet, Annipe. When his owner returns home from gallbladder surgery and then self medicates with alcohol on top of the painkiller, Jinx begins to telepathically tell him the tale of Annipipe. Although it is narrated by a cat the story focuses more on the human characters, but it is still an interesting and unique tale.