On Friday, May 13th of last year (yes, I know) I adopted a cat. I drove an hour up to meet a cat who, on paper, was perfect for me. In person, he was fully feral.
I drove home, feeling dejected, but I tried to cheer myself up by popping into Petco on the way. See, I'd been prepping for this cat for months. The cat tree was already set up by the window, the litter box full of Dr. Elseys, and a pheromone spray diffuser covered one of my outlets. I was ‘cattifying’ my home like a family preparing a nursery. And I still had doubts about whether I was really ready.
And then I saw him. A little orange tabby, big eyes pouring over me through the glass. The employee unlocked the window, and Caterpillar, named for his bushy striped tail, presented his soft white belly to me for pets. In that moment, the fates aligned and I knew. I ran to the ATM next door and withdrew $60 cash to cover the adoption fee. They gave me all his papers, and a social security card with the name ‘Caterpillar’ at the top. Oh, I thought, this looks pretty official. Guess I can't change his name.
So I gave him a nickname: Caterpie, after the first Pokemon Ash caught on his Pokemon journey. With big sparkly eyes. Perfect.
I soon discovered that Caterpie was not an ideal first cat. After thousands spent on vet visits, several months in a cone, chronic ear infections, and an allergy test, we discovered that Caterpie is allergic to the following:
- Duck grass
- Dust mites
- Storage mites
As a whole network of vets throughout the Northeast Kansas area worked together to de-itch my scratchy boy, I became, first by necessity and then by choice, an avid student of cat behaviorism and care best practices. I tell every captive audience I can scrounge up about how to properly execute a slow blink, or why allergies TO cats actually occur.
And now, dear reader, I implore you to be my audience. Or really, the experts' audience. I've selected some of my favorite cat care resources, informative stories, and feline encyclopedias, all within LPLs collection! From nonfiction to graphic novels to movies and picture books, this list has something for every audience. So without further ado, let's dive into the treasure trove of the informative cat media we have here at LPL:
This is the first book on cat behaviorism I ever picked up. Jackson Galaxy, AKA the Cat Daddy, AKA the host of Animal Planet's My Cat From Hell, takes you through his findings from over 25 years of experience as a professional cat behaviorist (my dream job). The book has spunky illustrations that demonstrate the different behaviors and ideas Galaxy introduces us to. I particularly love the Napoleon, Wallflower, and Mojito Cat archetypes he uses to help us distinguish what aggression, fear, and mojo look like in our feline friends.
If you follow Hannah Shaw, AKA the Kitten Lady on Instagram, you're already familiar with the author of this charming children's book. Shaw is known for fostering, rescuing, and TNR-ing (trap, neuter, return) cats across the country. Her new series, Adventures in Fosterland, is inspired by real kittens she's helped find furever homes.
A children's history of cats from their heyday in Egypt to their migration indoors.
This book was published by researchers at the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and ensures that readers have a current, scientific understanding of cat behavior. Covers everything from classical conditioning to navigating cohabitation.
It's silly, it's cute, and it's written by the Master of Horror Junji Ito himself! Junji Ito's Cat Diary is a love letter to his cats. Ito keeps his signature spooky style but isn't afraid to let his comedic side shine here. A classic tale of the 'guy who doesn't want a pet' becoming the 'guy who is obsessed with his pets' (looking at you, Dad).
Over 50 distinct cat body language traits are pictured here, along with explanations for what they might mean. Did you know a cat with a wagging tail may be feeling aggressive, annoyed, overstimulated, or wanting to hunt? If you're petting a cat and its tail begins whipping back and forth, it may be the cat's way of saying 'paws off!'
A beautifully shot documentary about the protected cats who roam about the city of Istanbul, and how they enrich the city.
I'll be honest... this one is just cute. Who hasn't wanted a cat to knead out the knots in your shoulders after a long day? Just me? Okay then...
Written by Dr. Yukichi Hattori, "Japan's leading cat doctor," this book is an illustrated guide to understanding cats. One of my personal favorites.
How could I end this list without mentioning Stray, a 2022 post-apocalyptic game where you play as a little stray cat. Stylistically, it's somewhere between Cyberpunk and the Professor Layton series- with decaying metal ruins and playful puzzles. The 'voice acting' is great too, good job Lala!
-Hannah Parks is a Youth Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.