Enough To Make A Cat Laugh


Deric Longden - 1996
    Aileen rarely trips over the cats, but they are always in danger of being mistaken for a cardigan.

Paw Tracks in the Moonlight


Denis O'Connor - 2004
    Against all odds the kitten - who he names Toby Jug - survives and forms an unusually strong bond with his rescuer. Set against the rural splendour of Northumberland, "Paw Tracks in the Moonlight" charmingly chronicles the adventures of one man and his Maine Coone cat. From an invasion of bees at Owl Cottage to the case of the disappearing tomatoes, life with Toby Jug - who believes himself to be human - is never dull. Nevertheless, it is only when Denis and Toby Jug embark on a summer camping trip on horseback in the Cheviot Hills that a new world opens up for them both.Cover illustration: Richard Morris

Donkey Work


Doreen Tovey - 1962
    Not so for Doreen and her husband Charles, who decide to take on a baby donkey to keep the nettles under control in the orchard. When Annabel clip-clops into their lives they realize that, from the ear-splitting nocturnal howling to the numerous escape attempts, living with a donkey won't be plain sailing. Annabel eats everything apart from the nettles, but eventually becomes a much-loved family member and particularly close to Solomon, the Siamese cat, who sleeps in her bed. Further dramas ensue when Henry, the jennet, is introduced as a companion to Annabel and love blossoms.

Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale


Dan Dye - 2000
    Amid the frenzied barking and prancing of a house full of Great Danes, one pup was shivering in the corner. Gracie. But when Dan Dye reached her, she struggled to her feet like a clumsy foal, raised her forehead to his, and announced, as clearly as if she had actually spoken the words, You know I'm the one. Now get me outta here! By turns funny, moving, tender, and inspiring, Gracie's tale is a treat for every dog lover. There is Gracie's first morning, racing around Dan in the snowy yard. Gracie's first determination to prove to her step-sisters, Dottie the Dalmatian and Sarah the Black Lab, that she's one of the girls. Gracie's defiant romance with a pint-size charmer named Byron, a Boston Terrier from the wrong side of the fence. Then born of necessity, the eureka moment: When Gracie's delicate constitution starts turning into anorexia, Dan teaches himself how to cook, and in three days is baking her the cookies that will spur her appetite, launch Three Dog Bakery, and transform their lives forever. Courage. Compassion. Kindness. Soul. Tenacity. And joy, above all, joy. These qualities Gracie possessed in abundance, and shared with everyone, human or canine, who had the good fortune to cross her path.

Beware Of Cat: and Other Encounters of a Letter Carrier


Vincent Wyckoff - 2007
    The old man is upset, and Wyckoff moves down the block slowly, looking high and low, hoping to spot the little bird. He reaches the man's house and offers sympathy to his wife, who smiles sadly and says, "We haven't had that bird for twenty-five years."Letter carriers like Wyckoff walk through the same neighborhood each day, observing the lives and routines of its residents. They learn its stories, make connections between people, and, in many ways, become the common thread that connects neighbors to one another. Along Wyckoff's mail route, Native American children teach him about totems. He finds assistance for a reclusive chain-smoking book collector who can't maintain his property. He delivers a much-delayed registered letter mailed from Saigon in 1976. Over the years, Wyckoff sees the neighborhood of blue-collar retirees change as a diverse group of younger people move in and raise their families.Celebrating the triumphs in everyday life and demonstrating the danger of trusting first impressions, Beware of Cat reveals the inner workings of an ordinary place of extraordinary interest.

All My Patients are Under the Bed: Memoirs of a Cat Doctor


Louis J. Camuti - 1980
    Louis J. Camuti. For sixty years he treated thousands of cats and mad so many house calls he became known as "the Albert Schweitzer of the cat world."In recollections both funny and tender, Dr. Camuti astutely observes his patients and their protectors--the cat people whose foibles and follies he understands as thoroughly as he does his feline patients. He attended "celebrity cats," such as those of Tallula Banhead and James Mason; interesting unknowns like Inky, the ghost cat; and "the burglar cat," who proudly brought gloves, toupees, and other purloined items home to his owners. His expertise on urban wildlife even extended to such nonfeline patients as Anastasia, a talented male pigeon who could eat birdseed out of a human navel. Encounters with marmosets, honeybears, and ocelots lead him to conclude, "If an animal can fit through an apartment window in Manhattan, someone will have it as a pet."Dr. Camuti was known as "the fastest shot in the East," found vodka to be the perfect antiseptic, and developed the "Camuti Method" of tracking down cats in their most unfathomable hideouts. He was everything you (or your cat) wanted him to be. Whether or not you like cats, you'll love Dr. Camuti as he delights everyone with tales of his life and adventures.--back cover

I Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog who was Toto


Willard Carroll - 2001
    To his delight and amazement, its yellowing pages contain the rags to riches story of Terry, the cairn terrier who became a cultural icon playing Toto in The Wizard of Oz.I, Toto traces the Canine star’s tragic beginnings (she was abandoned because of housebreaking failures until trainer Carl Spitz took her in), her exhilarating film career (a dozen movies with start such as Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, and of course, Judy Garland), her days as the top-billed star with the Hollywood Motion Picture Dog Review, and her happy retirement in southern California. Most important, Toto offers the inside scoop on the making of The Wizard of Oz.Lovingly illustrated, Toto’s scrapbook features more than 100 photographs and reproductions collected over a dog’s life, including film stills, press clippings, lobby cards, movie posters, and memorabilia, plus personal snapshots from Toto’s life at home. A must-read for fans of the classic movie and its equally classic canine star.

The True Tails of Baker and Taylor: The Library Cats Who Left Their Pawprints on a Small Town . . . and the World


Jan Louch - 2015
    That the 'someone' in this case is, in fact, two library cats makes this true tale of the love of literature combined with a fondness for nose licking all the more magical. This book, like a purring kitten who may also be a genie, should be welcomed into any home.—Francesco Marciuliano, New York Times bestselling author of I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by CatsIt all started with mice in the library.Assistant librarian Jan Louch and a coworker decided that what the library needed was a cat. Or, even better, two cats. Soon, they found a pair of Scottish Folds who were perfect for the job. Jan named them Baker and Taylor, and they took up residence in the library.But these cats were much more than mousers. Visitors to the library fell in love with Baker and Taylor and their antics just as Jan had. And then, after Jan let the cats be photographed for a poster, they became feline celebrities. Children from across the country wrote them letters, fans traveled from far and wide to meet them, and they became the most famous library cats in the world.In The True Tails of Baker and Taylor, Jan Louch looks back and tells the remarkable story of these two marvelous cats and the people—readers, librarians, and cat lovers of all ages—who came together around them.

My Life in a Cat House: True Tales of Love, Laughter, and Living with Five Felines


Gwen Cooper - 2018
    Ideal for new readers and longtime fans alike, this collection of eight purr-fect cat stories is filled with all the humor and heart Gwen’s devoted readership has come to know and love.An adorable, five-week-old rescue kitten slowly learns to trust the woman who saved her. An obsessive cat teaches himself to play fetch and demands it morning and night from his hapless mom—whether she’s working, sleeping, eating, bathing, or trying to enjoy some “alone time” with her husband. And Homer, the Blind Wonder Cat himself, returns triumphant in a new story about life and love after worldwide fame.Read all eight stories in one sitting, or savor each gem of a “tail” on its own. My Life in a Cat House will leave you laughing out loud, shedding an occasional tear, and hugging your own cat a little bit closer.

James Herriot: The Life of a Country Vet


Graham Lord - 1997
    Alf wrote amazingly little about his parents, his poor childhood in a crowded Glasgow tenement or his schooldays, but Lord describes them all in vivid detail after interviewing friends of Alf's from his earliest days in Glasgow up to the end in Yorkshire, where he worked for over fifty years with his partner Donald Sinclair, whom he called 'Siegfried' in his books, Lord has also uncovered some extraordinary events and hidden tragedies in Alf's life and he asks a series of pertinent questions. How much of the Herriot books was true? How much was fiction? And what was his real relationship with the various characters who inhabit the books. This warm but incisive portrait will be enjoyed by James Herriot's countless admirers but will also dispel the myths that have already grown up around the life of the most famous and deeply loved vet the world has ever known.

C'est La Folie


Michael Wright - 2006
    His destination was 'La Folie', a dilapidated 15th century farmhouse in need of love and renovation in the heart of rural France...Inspired by the success of his column in the Daily Telegraph about La Folie, this book is his winningly honest account of his struggle to fulfil a childhood dream and become a Real Man - to make the journey from social townie to rugged, solitary paysan. And in chronicling his enthusiastic attempts at looking after livestock and coming to terms with the concept of living Abroad Alone, the author discovers what it takes to be a man at the beginning of the 21st century, especially if one is short sighted, flat footed and not very good at games.Life-affirming, laugh out loud funny (and boasting more than its fair share of larger-than-life locals, bilingual chickens, diminutive but over-sexed sheep, invisible rodents, manly power tools with unpronounceable names, plus the occasional femmes fatale), this tale of a new-found life in France with a cat, a piano and an aeroplane, is both an elegy for a world that's fast disappearing as a hymn to the simple pleasures of being alive.

In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind


Gina Gershon - 2012
    Film and television icon Gina Gershon may be best known for her movie roles in Bound and Showgirls  and television appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm  and How to Make It in America, but deep down she is a self-described cat lady. In Search of Cleo  follows Gina’s desperation and despair when her assistant loses her beloved cat, Cleo. Gina spends two months roaming the back streets of Los Angeles at all hours of the night, searching for Cleo and meeting several quirky and outrageous characters who help or hinder her in different ways, including Ellen DeGeneres, who searches with Gina and recommends her pet psychic, Sonia; Arthur, the newspaper delivery man who gives her advice; and the mysterious fortune-teller, who appears from the shadows to give her a statue of Saint Gertrude, the protector of cats everywhere.Gina soon finds herself enmeshed in L.A.’s strangest subcultures, doing everything she can to bring Cleo home, including chanting with a bunch of crystal-wielding hippies and being slapped with a chicken by a Santeria priest. Along the way, she reflects on the various cats that have been a part of her life and shares her travails as a single girl in search of both her cat and some sanity. In Search of Cleo  will delight pet lovers and singletons alike as it introduces Cleo to the celebrated pantheon of literary cats that includes Dewey, Homer, and Oscar.

Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou


Steve Duno - 2010
    On the winter day that the ailing, tick-infested feral pup was rescued by Steve Duno, neither dog nor man had a clue as to what they were getting into, or where the relationship would lead. Last Dog on the Hill tells the story of an indigent young Rottweiler mix who, after abandoning his pack and the hills of his birth, went on to change the lives of hundreds of people and dogs, including the author’s, whose career as a behaviorist and writer was made possible through Lou’s extraordinary intelligence and heart. Lou won the respect of gang members, foiled an armed robbery, caught a rapist, fought coyotes and kidnappers, comforted elderly war veterans and Alzheimer patients in their final days, taught ASL to kids, learned scores of unique behaviors and tricks, amassed a vocabulary of nearly 200 words, helped rehabilitate hundreds of aggressive dogs and saved them from euthanasia. He was also a clown, consummate performer and Steve’s best friend for sixteen years. His story will make readers laugh and cry in equal measures.

The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas- How a Cat Brought a Family the Gift of Love


Julia Romp - 2010
    For Julia already had her hands full with her son George, who suffered from autism. Quiet and withdrawn, ten-year-old George appeared lost in his own world, upset by the slightest change in his routine and unable to make friends with other children.But George wasn’t scared by the little black-and-white visitor; instead his face lit up at the sight of him and before long George was inseparable from his new friend Ben. It was the miracle Julia had been hoping for; George began to play with Ben and create stories about their adventures together, excitedly recounting them at tea-time. For Julia, it was a magical way to communicate with her son, and Ben had made it possible. That’s why when Ben went missing Julia knew she had to do everything in her power to bring him home…Captivating, uplifting and geniunely touching, A Friend Like Ben is a remarkable true story of the extraordinary devotion and empathy between a little boy and his cat, and a mother's determination to make her son happy again."You see, Ben's not just a cat - he is George's window onto the world, the key to the door which unlocks him. Call me daft, but Ben is like my second son, so I had to find him when he went missing. Because if not, I was more scared than I can say that I would never see the light in George's eyes again. There was only one way to make sure it came back: I had to bring Ben home." ~ Julia

Fowl Weather


Bob Tarte - 2007
    Whether it's the knot-tying African grey parrot, or the overweight cat who's trained Bob to hold her water bowl just above the floor, or the nightmarish duck who challenges him to a shoving match, this menagerie, along with his endlessly optimistic wife, Linda, provides daily lessons on the chaos inherent in our lives. But not until this modern-day Noah's Ark hits stormy weather—and Bob's world spins out of control—does he realize that this exuberant gaggle of animals provides his spiritual anchor. It is their alien presence, their sense of humor, and their impulsive behavior that both drive Bob crazy and paradoxically return him to sanity. With the same sly humor and dead-on character portraits that made Enslaved by Ducks such a rousing success, Tarte proves that life with animals offers a wholly different perspective on the world.