Meow: a novel, and other literature for cats

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The Silent Miaow by Paul Gallico is a Manual for Kittens, typed in English. Gallico’s doorbell rang, and he found a manuscript on his doorstep when he opened the door. He looked around, but only saw a cat disappearing into his hedge.

The manuscript seemed to be in some kind of weird code, until he happened to glance at his typewriter. He then realized it wasn’t a code, it was the result of typing with a paw, rather than fingers. The author went for one letter, but instead had often hit one or more of the surrounding keys.

After a couple months of work on its decipherment, he found he had been delivered an awfully clever manual for stray cats and kittens. The author had many suggestions for taking over a household and putting its humans to use, as well as etiquette and other catly concerns.

It is a delightful, amusing book, illustrated with photographs of a neighbor’s particularly beautiful and clever cat. Gallico theorized she may well have been the mysterious author.

The Fur Person by May Sarton is a heartwarming tale for all ages, told from the cat’s POV. Our Hero goes from a loving home, to being made a stray, to finding his permanent loving home with a lesbian couple, one of whom is the author.

Both cannot be recco’d enough for those who love books and cats.

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