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Talking Cats?

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Nov 18, 2008, 4:59pm Top

People tell me that talking cats are a cliche. Overused, boring, generally pointless.

But I happen to love them. So I'm looking for recommendations of books that contain talking cats, specifically ones that speak out loud or otherwise converse with humans, but just cats talking to each other is acceptable too.

I know about the Warriors series already. There's also The Book of Night with Moon, which has cats that talk to each other, and the werecat Solembum in Eragon. I own a book called Tailchaser's Song that may also fit the bill, but I haven't read it yet.

I may crosspost this to other groups if it strikes my fancy later.

Nov 18, 2008, 5:02pm Top

Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore has cats that converse with one of the human characters. That's just one part of this large novel--there's a lot of quirky, surreal stuff going on in there.

Edited: Nov 18, 2008, 5:14pm Top

Gayle Greeno has 2-3 series about large telepathic cats that converse with humans.

Nov 18, 2008, 5:17pm Top

I know of two cat mysteries: the Mrs. Murphy series, by Rita Mae Brown, and the Joe Grey series, by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. In the Mrs. Murphy series the animals all converse with each other, but humans don't understand them. In Joe Grey, Joe and a couple other cats are able to speak with humans and be understood, and also read.

Nov 18, 2008, 5:46pm Top

The Wild Road is lovely.

And I strongly, strongly recommend Tailchaser's Song - it's a beautiful story.

Ratha's Creature - now that's written for a younger audience, and is just gorgeous.

Nov 18, 2008, 7:50pm Top

The "Ungrukh" or Kingdom of Cats series by Phyllis Gotlieb. Science fiction; the cats (large) are the space/time traveling main characters.

Also Cats in Cyberspace by Beth Hilgartner.

Nov 18, 2008, 8:34pm Top

Catseye by Andrew Norton has a few cats that telepathically communicate with the protagonist. It's a bit YA-science fiction, but it's an old favourite of mine.

Nov 18, 2008, 8:52pm Top

The Fur Person by May Sarton

The cat is the narrator of this book.

Nov 18, 2008, 8:54pm Top

Whittington by Alan Armstrong. This is children's literature -- I read it aloud to my kids and they liked it a lot.

Nov 18, 2008, 8:57pm Top

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Maybe not quite in the same vein as the others listed here, but it does feature one of the more memorable talking cats.

Nov 18, 2008, 11:13pm Top

Jennie and Thomasina by Paul Gallico are a couple of my favourite books.

Nov 18, 2008, 11:32pm Top

The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr an early romantic classic.

Nov 19, 2008, 12:25am Top

Carole Nelson Douglas's Midnight Louie series is fun. Midnight Louie is a cat who is also a private eye of sorts, in the Sam Spade style. He talks to other animals, and some chapters of each book are from his point of view as he tries to help his humans solve mysteries and stay out of harm's way. I don't know if it's quite what you're looking for, but for light reading, they're pretty good.

Nov 19, 2008, 8:54am Top

The cat who mysteries by L Braun, the first is the cat who read backwards, there are 17+ of these by now I think. Cosy, but fun in their way.

Michael Marshall Smith's superbly surreally weird sf Only Forward has his clever cat Spangle, with whom their is some communication.

There's a cat group who will probably know more.

Nov 19, 2008, 8:59am Top

#14: Note that the cats don't actually talk in the Cat Who mysteries (at least, not that I recall). But they're fun anyway. I recommend them.

Nov 19, 2008, 9:19am Top

I loved Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander when I was younger. I don't remember much about it now, I just remember being really taken by it.

There is also a cat like demon in Sabriel by Garth Nix who was a very interesting character.

Nov 19, 2008, 1:31pm Top

Great recommendations, all! I have read some Cat Who and Mrs. Murphy. Loved the cats in both but I get tired of mysteries quickly, so I only read those every so often. I've read Time Cat several times in my youth and loved it, may have to revisit. :)

Nov 19, 2008, 4:03pm Top

Cats, murder & genetic testing -

Can be hard to find, but worth reading. The cats talk, but not to us mere can-openers.

Nov 27, 2008, 6:28pm Top

Thanks again Severn!

I like Solo's Journey by Joy Smith Aiken.

FYI, the other books in the Ratha series are Clan Ground, Ratha and Thistle-chaser, Ratha's Challenge, and the new (Oct. 2008!) Ratha's Courage.

Nov 27, 2008, 6:30pm Top

Felidae was made into a film - I saw clips of it on YouTube and was very intrigued.

Nov 28, 2008, 7:54am Top

Felidae a film, huh? I see how it would lend itself. A Watership Down-like animation style would be good for that. I'll see if I can find it. Thanks.

Dec 18, 2008, 6:46pm Top

So not long after that last post I found the whole Felidae movie on youtube and watched it. Not a bad adaptation. So then I got sucked into watching Plague Dogs and practically bawled my eyes out. That was the saddest thing ever.

Dec 18, 2008, 7:24pm Top

Don't forget Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat. A classic talking cat. It's about a cat who eats a parrot and gains the power of speech, only to engage in Talmudic debate with his rabbi-owner.

Dec 18, 2008, 7:48pm Top

Oh, behemoth from The Master and Margarita was a total scream. A talking sycophant cat who can weild a Mauser. Formidable.

Dec 20, 2008, 1:54am Top

summon the keeper by tanya huff

Dec 20, 2008, 2:01am Top

Talking cats are cliche? I did not know that.

Has anyone mentioned Coraline? How about Alice in Wonderland?

Dec 20, 2008, 5:03am Top

How dare you insult me in this way!!!!! I am no cliche!

Edited: Dec 20, 2008, 11:40am Top

A talking cat is featured in an older Japanese novel, I am a cat by Natsume Soseki (1905 - Japanes, 1906 - English, but still in print). I didn't get very far with it, but it might be worth the effort. A world weary cat looks at Meiji society. I thought Kafka on the Shore was great.

Dec 21, 2008, 2:00pm Top

>27 tomcatMurr:
You're a talking cat that works in the field of applied linguistics?! This topic was made for you!

Apr 12, 2009, 7:21pm Top

And do not forget the short story "Tobermory" in Beasts and Super Beasts by Saki. It's laugh out loud funny though written over 100 years ago!

Apr 12, 2009, 7:44pm Top

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C Wrede have talking cats, especially the third book - Calling on Dragons I believe.

Tamora Pierce's Tortall books often have talking animals; there is a talking cat in books 2-4 of the Lioness Rampant series.

There are, of course, the Redwall books where all the animals talk, and isn't there a talking cat in The Last Unicorn?

There are cats in several of the Chrestomanci books and although they don't actually talk, they may as well. The ones I specifically remember cats in are Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant.

Apr 12, 2009, 11:21pm Top

Not necessarily talking cats, but cat shape-shifters The Catswold Portal was one of my favorite books in highschool. It is not a young adult title as far as I know.

I second Tailchaser's Song it is an excellent book.

If you haven't checked out the Catfantastic series of short story compilations try those as well, many have talking cats.

Edited: Apr 12, 2009, 11:29pm Top

I just remembered The Rabbi's Cat, which is a graphic novel, has a talking cat.

Apr 14, 2009, 1:45am Top

jerome and the seraph has a talking cat, monks, death, religion and quantum mechanics. (I hated it, but it's received a lot of positive reviews so it must be one of those books you either love or hate).

Edited: Apr 14, 2009, 2:07am Top

Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey features a talking cat. Also, some of the Girl Genius graphic novels.

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