[Click the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below it’s probably ad-blocker settings]
[Gods, Baba is so fuckin’ cute. LOOK AT HER.]
“The first comprehensive history of felines―from the laps of pagan gods to present-day status as meme stars―as revealed by a very learned tabby with a knack for hunting down facts ”
[there was a much longer synopsis but it was pretty spoiler-y]
I was warned that this book would make me cry.
They were not wrong. In fact, I cried a good 8 times of very strong, emotional types of cries. Some really ugly cries. In between that, many times where I could feel that familiar sting and eyes getting glossy.
This isn’t to say that the book is horrible, it’s in fact, it’s very very good. I was already familiar with the author and his other works, but when I saw he was publishing a book about feline history from the perspective of his very fashionable cat, Baba, I was already hooked.
This book is a must-have for anyone that is remotely interested in cats, and their existence through history. This includes pre-historia and the evolution of cats from their primordial ancestors, to how they first started to work with early humans, all the way to them now being internet superstars. Of course, stopping along the way to their worship by the ancient Egyptians, to their near eradication due to ignorant superstition, to their welcome back to the arms of humans and how they become working cats in more than just being mousers.
There’s both joy, humor, and delight in this book – but also great sadness and horror. Cats were not treated very well [and you can argue in some places still aren’t] across the world for a very long time. While Baba doesn’t go in graphic detail, you are told some of the more horrific things cats were forced to endure, and it’s heartbreaking. Humans are awful, awful creatures. Thankfully there are many pictures of Baba dressed in themed attire within the book to break up the sorrow.
There’s also many famous cats documented in this book and their lives and the impact they made at humans, including scans of newspapers and old photographs. Some of them are incredibly sweet to read about, that despite knowing they surely wouldn’t be alive any longer, it hurts that much more to read of their end.
This is a book that I’d recommend to all cat enthusiasts, or anyone interested in learning more about our feline friends, but a gentle warning for anyone that has experienced pet death or the fear of their pet’s mortality.
My cat Bastet [who has a whole chapter dedicated to her namesake] is going to be 17 soon and with her health issues increasing as time goes on [as well as having lost a beloved cat exactly 10 years ago] it really hurt to read some parts. I often had to stop and go hug my cats, and annoy them as I cried into their fur.
I plan on gifting this book to a few people because it’s a must-have.
Just, you know. Steel your feels.
“Cats do an awful lot of things humans would never expect of them; they simply need to be given the chance.”
I give A Cat’s Tale 5/5 deep rumbling purrs
“The Egyptians had provided Bastet with a sister. Named Sekhmet, her head was that of a female lion, and she provided a ferocious counterpart to the loving domestic cat. Yet the two were complements of each other rather than opposites. Each incomplete without the other. Bastet ruled the heart and protected the household, representing the cat as adored by the common people. Sekhmet, meanwhile, was a symbol of feline strength and cunning. Together the two sisters conquered.”
“It was at the very end that we found the very beginning, as the feline soul would be invited to become one with the cosmos it had helped create upon death. Ra ferried the cat’s essence into the glittering night sky, allowing it to become a brilliant, eternal spirit of light. Back on earth, the humans who had loved their cats and made offerings in its honor could stare out into the night sky and think about their old friend. While the house might now seem empty, the humans who loved a cat could take solace in the knowledge that it lived on. And peering into those eternal depths they knew – they absolutely knew – that glittering bright against the pitch-black of night one of those innumerable stars was none other than their beloved companion.”