LOS ANGELES – The felines are fighting back – on the bookshelf. Cats outnumber dogs in the U.S., but in bookstores, dog titles reign, the American Pet Products Association says.
Fans insist felines are getting more popular as they ride the coattails of Internet sensations like Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub and Nora, the piano-playing cat.
For the cat lovers on your holiday list, several books challenge the notion that pooches get more play. Here are four gift-worthy books where cats shine:
A LETTER TO MY CAT
Actress Rosanna Arquette, model Kathy Ireland and animal behaviourist Jackson Galaxy of My Cat From Hell are among the celebrities who pen love notes to their cats in this collection.
Dr. Betsy Kennon of Pittsburgh also contributes the story of Scooter, who was almost killed by a car but now brings joy to people also dealing with disabilities.
“The kitten was never going to walk,” Kennon said. “I can’t tell you why I didn’t put him to sleep.”
As the cat struggled to pull himself along, one of Kennon’s workers stuck a plastic bowl under his rump to help smooth the way. The cat became known as Scooter, and the bowl gave way to a kitty wheelchair.
In the six years since, Kennon and Scooter have visited thousands of patients at hospitals and nursing homes.
“For him, it’s not a handicap,” Kennon said. “This is the way life is and people take inspiration from him.”
THE GRUMPY GUIDE TO LIFE
Leading the pack of popular cat books is one from down-in-the-dumps Grumpy Cat – The Grumpy Guide to Life.
The kitty celebrity, whose permanent downturned expression is caused by a medical condition, has another book, wrapped a TV movie called Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever and has her sad mug plastered on magnets, T-shirts, calendars and a host of other products.
The latest book is full of Grumpy insight such as: “People are like balls of yarn. For the most part, they’re boring and useless, but I still get a lot of pleasure out of watching them unravel.”
67 REASONS WHY CATS ARE BETTER THAN DOGS
With a few good reasons and dozens of wacky ones, this book supposedly explains why cats are better than dogs. For example, did you know cats are better companions, surfers and chess players?
Arguments are often deliberately outrageous or puzzling. Take surfing: Pictures show a dog on a longboard and a cat on a keyboard, showing both “surfing.”
Author Jack Shepherd of BuzzFeed also claims cats are faster, smarter and take the best self-portraits.
But Shepherd also keeps it real, telling readers to get a dog if they want slavish devotion. Cat love is genuine, he says, because it’s 10 per cent devotion and 90 per cent frustration and betrayal.
“So what if they break your heart every now and then? That’s how love is supposed to feel,” Shepherd writes.
A few assertions might ring true to a cat lover, but the book hardly solves the age-old pet debate.
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THE CAT DID WHAT?
The leader in heartwarming stories rounds up 101 anecdotes from cat owners.
Contributor Jan Bono writes that a veterinarian told her it’s normal for cats to eat plastic but most will quickly grow out of it. After a year and a half, Bono is still waiting. Sandwich bags, plastic wrap, fake Easter grass, toothbrushes, combs – if any part of it is made of plastic, her cat Simon will munch on much of it.
The book was published in tandem with The Dog Did What? and highlights Chicken Soup for the Soul’s work with animals, including donating its brand of dog food to shelters and rescues, publisher and author Amy Newmark said.