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Break Out the Catnip and Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!

By Julie Bond

June marks the beginning of kitten season and many kittens and their dams will end up at shelters all over the country, thus the creation of “National Adopt a Shelter Cat” month.  Even if you can’t bring a new kitten or cat into your home right now, you can still celebrate. Just share pictures of your rescue kitties on social media using #AdoptAShelterCat. It’s also a good time to make your tax deductible donation to your favorite shelter or feline rescue group, or drop off much needed supplies to help them get through a busy kitten season. As always, here are a few books that I love about cats and kittens, both domestic and wild.

People often believe that kittens and cats can’t be trained. This couldn’t be further from the truth!  Your feline companions enjoy training just as much as dogs do, you just have to understand what motivates cats and how they learn.  If you want to better understand your cat’s mind, pick up copies of these two amazing books:

“Cat Sense,” by John Bradshaw

“Think Like a Cat,” by Pam Johnson-Bennett

The first book I ever read about wild felines was Joy Adamson’s, “Born Free.”  This story from the early 1960’s details the author’s bond with a female lioness she named Elsa. This is a timeless tale that will still captivate readers today. Their affection for one another was so touching and when Joy releases Elsa back into the wild, your heart will soar even as you are crying your eyes out.

When I began my own research on cheetahs in 1987, one of the first books I picked up was another by conservationist, Joy Adamson, entitled “The Spotted Sphinx.” While cheetahs are not technically cats, I could not pass up an opportunity to include them on this list! This beautiful book is the story of the author’s relationship with a cheetah named Pippa who she hoped to return to the wild as well.

I love little gift books, especially those chock full of cute photos, poems, and quotes about cats and kittens!  Here are my three favorites to give:

“Life Works Itself Out (And Then You Nap),” by Keiya Mizuno and Naoki Naganuma.

“I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems by Cats,” by Francesco Marciuliano.

“I Knead My Mommy: And Other Poems by Kittens,” also by Francesco Marciuliano.

For the perfect coffee table book for wild cat lovers, look no further than “Fierce Beauty: Preserving the World of Wild Cats,” by Bhagavan Antle, Tim Flach, and Barry Bland. This photo collection is breathtaking!

And because children enjoy cats and kittens too, how about one of these fun picture books where cats are the stars of the show!

“Fuddles,” by Frans Vischer.  The author is also the illustrator of this laugh-out-loud funny book for picture book lovers of all ages.  Vischer is a former Disney illustrator as well, having worked on the blockbuster movie, “Frozen.”

“The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read,” by Curtis Manley and beautifully illustrated by Kate Berube. One of Nick’s cats embraces reading immediately. The other is a bit harder to sell on the concept.  A fun book for reluctant human readers too.

Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at [email protected]

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