Cathedral Cats and Cockatiels for Two

Have a variety of reads on hand when you’re in the mood for something a little different to slice the monotony of cold winter evenings.  Here are some books with a worldly flavor for the nightstand–especially for cat lovers.

Art and History

The Painted Cat: The Cat in Western Painting from the Fifteenth to the Twentieth Century depicts cats in art.  Works are presented chronologically and each painting is given historical and cultural context.

In 1981, the Metropolitan Museum of Art published Metropolitan Cats, a collection of prints, sculptures, drawings, paintings, ceramics, and textiles in which cats appear.  All of the works here were part of the museum’s collection when the book was published.

Photogenic Cats

Perfectly contented cats perch on stone stairs, rest on mulched garden paths, drink from a stone birdbath, and pose in front of blue agastache in Cats in Their Gardens, a beautiful book suitable for any coffee table.

If you liked reading about Dewey the library cat, then you may enjoy Cathedral Cats.  Cats with names like Lazarus, Saffron, Baggins, and Sultan live and wander around in England’s grand old cathedrals.  In the city of Gloucester, where there is also a cathedral with resident cats, legend has it that all cats speak to each other on Christmas Eve. Photos of the cats accompany bits about their lives in these not-so-humble abodes, and the historical descriptions of the cathedrals make this a good armchair travel read.  


If you liked Marley and Me, check out Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family, by Helen Brown.  Set in New Zealand and Australia, this is a true story full of family drama and life-changing events with a loving cat in the center of it all.

The Cat Who Covered the World (Henrietta) and The Cat Who Went to Paris (the first book in a trilogy about Norton) are stories about families who take their treasured companions with them on various global excursions.  Often funny, light reading with an international flavor to keep it interesting.


Cat People, by Michael Korda and Margaret Korda is about two people who are passionate about their adopted cats.  They share stories about their cats’ antics and diverse personalities–see if you can relate your experiences to theirs.

In the spirit of the somewhat twisted humor of one of my favorite cartoonists (Gary Larson) is Leigh Rubin’s The Wild Life of Cats, with captions and graphics reminiscent of some of the best Far Side cartoons.

Cockatiels for Two is an assortment of black and white cartoons by New Yorker cartoonist Leo Cullum.  A witty and thought-provoking collection with a central theme:  cats.





Kimberly Sain

As a Public Services Specialist, in addition to Reference work I promote the Travel, Pets, and Lawn & Garden Neighborhoods, coordinate nature-themed programs for adults and families, and serve on the Big Read planning committee. My interests include exploring new travel destinations, National Parks, Alaska, hiking trails in Kansas, Colorado and Arkansas, birding, Sandhill crane migration, Monarch waystations, Kansas native plants, citizen science activities, volunteer work as a certified Kansas Master Naturalist, and reading essays about the natural environment. Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country is my all-time favorite novel.