6

Magical cats

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Magical Cats

How does cat mind control work?  All the cats I have served have managed to control me very well.  It must be the steady stare, The starethe posing or is it all in the cat’s mind.  Maybe there is a sentient pretending to be a cat or maybe cats are just empathic, telepathic beings; cats are magic.

Is it the cat’s mind that holds our imaginations? Science fiction writers and readers often seem be entranced by them.

Lloyd Alexander’s “Chronicles of Prydain”

Cats have very flexible spines that can be elongated or compressed.  Maybe this is why Llyan, from Lloyd Alexander’s “Chronicles of Prydain” was so successfully enlarged when Glew, a rather small person, experimented with a growth hormone to recreate himself.  Fortunately for Llyan she was outside his cave while he, still inside, was now too large to escape and was trapped!Llyan

The larger, enhanced Llyan became an important part of the saga.  She often became the mount of the bard, Fflewddur, discovering an cursed dwarf, helping to thwart the evil wizard, rescuing the companions, fighting their foes and then retiring to the “Summer Country” to live and listen to the bard play his harp.

Perhaps this behaviour connecting Llyan to Fflewddur was due to the similarities between the feline and human emotion regions in the brain.  Or perhaps it’s all fantasy!

This series of books is a favourite of mine, read many times over.  From my informal research over time I have found many people who feel the same way.  Both teenagers and adults read and reread these for their enjoyment.

Paul Gallico’s “Jennie”Jenny

“Jennie” was one of the first books I read, many years ago, with a cat heroine.  The book was published in the USA as “The Abandoned” (I have always wondered why book and movie names have to change on what seems to be a whim).

While this book may not be considered a fantasy in the modern sense, the events were imaginary.

Jennie befriends Peter, a victim of a hit and run driver.  He recovers as a cat and Jennie guides him through the city.  I remember when I read it I was most disappointed when Peter regains consciousness and is once again a boy.  And poor Jennie, who worked so well with him, became a mystery.

If you are owned by a cat many of Jennie’s traits will be very familiar to you.  For example, as Jennie taught Peter, “When in doubt, wash”!  Who among we cat friends hasn’t seen this behaviour?

Alan Dean Foster’s “Cat-a-Lyst”

Cat-a-lystCats who guard the earth; well why not?  Anyone who has lived with a cat knows how good they are at coming and going.  So where do they go?  Maybe they consult with each other on how well or poorly we humans are doing at our job of living on earth.

These aliens, posing as cats, guide people and plants in saving the world from Incas from another place in space and time.

My research has unearthed claims from some that one character in particular annoyed them in this tale.  It has been a while since I read it but I believe I managed to skim this character and the underlying story was quite entertaining.

 Tanya Huff’s “The Keepers”

Summon the KeeperTanya Huff’s  Keeper series is a marvellous, light hearted fantasy read.  People looking for really serious fantasy or humour likely won’t appreciate it.  However when you need relief from high stress work or intense reading these books are great fun.  Tanya Huff is one of my favourite authors.  I actually have quite a few favourite authors!The Second Summoning

There are several characters in the books but Austin the talking catThe Long Hot Summoning with attitude is just so sarcastic, cynical, arrogant, caustic, wise, and know it all.  What do you say?  Isn’t that just like a cat!  This cat is one cool fantasy cat who talks too much and he (although he has lost his manhood) is just hysterical and has great lines and antics.

 Gayle Greeno’s “The Ghatti’s Tale”

Finders SeekersA tale of the lifelong bonded partnership formed between human healers who empathically bond with telepathic catlike ghatti.

These pairs can truth-read minds and emotions, an ability that disconcerts many with hidden agendas.  This section of humanity would dearly like to destroy this bond and remove the threat to reveal their hidden secrets.Mind Seekers Call

One pair, Doyce and Khar the ghatti, set out to disentangle the conspiracy that results.Exiles Return

The saga contains many twists and turns with people who have the ability to control minds by reading them, turning these victims into zombie like slaves (albeit still alive).

Meanwhile Doyce and Khar explore the past to find an answer to stop the devastating conspiracy.

The three books are an enjoyable read and my only regret is that my copies are packed away until our new house is built.  Then I can reread them (again)!

Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland

Cheshire Cat

And who can forget the wonderful Cheshire cat.

Alice is often frustrated by the cavalier manner of the mysterious cat who talks to her sporadically and often in amusing or vexing or philosophical language.

His calling card is the head with the big “Cheshire cat grin” and no body.  Or sometimes a body and head that slowly disappears!

Jim Butcher’s “The Dresden Files”

Mister is Harry Dresden’s extremely large tomcat who, most likely courtesy of a dog, lacked a tail.  Harry found him as a kitten and like most things Dresden, Mister grew to gigantic proportions.  He doesn’t suffer fools lightly but loves his food bowl.  Mouse believes that, unless he is travelling the night, his time is best spent in rest unless Harry opens the cat food.

He also lords it over Mouse, a temple dog, who adopted Harry when he was a pup.  As a Dresden thing Mouse also grew to an enormous size.

Mister often and with demonstrated reluctance at times houses the spirit of Bob.  Bob sneaks around gathering intelligence for Harry and viewing sorority parties and women’s’ events!  Now that sounds like the start of a horror story.  Poor Mister and Bob.

Alison cat

Oscar-min

My cat Oscar and my sister’s cat, Mordechai, both very large tabby cats, put me in mind of Mister.  Tough, arrogant and very appealing when they wanted something.  And certainly “Lording” it over everyone else!

And into the future

While going through my vast record of books I own and the internet researching this topic I was amazed at the number of science fiction and fantasy cat tales I have never heard of let alone read.  So it looks like I can look forward to years more reading!

To keep harmony I will now do the review of my books and the net again to find the dogs who have featured in science fiction and fantasy.

Finally

To allow easy access to science fiction and fantasy books of all available types I am putting landing links in that land on the site on one of the books contained in each post.  From these sites you can explore the online companies to your leisure.  Most of the books noted here can be found through Booktopia in Australia.

I would really like comments on this site as it will always be a work in progress.  The goal I am working towards is to create an enjoyable website for people who love and are addicted to fantasy and science fiction.  Your positive comments will certainly help me achieve this.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Helen

6 Comments

  1. Hello Helen-I really like your article about cats. I am very interested in the mystery of cats-Eileen

    • Thanks Eileen. Unfortunately our books have been packed away since we moved to Tasmania so I can’t chase up the other cat books yet. That is probably fortunate as I would then spend all my time re-reading them. We have had some remarkable cats and currently have the world’s worst behaved one! All of them are ‘strays’ so to speak. Thanks for commenting and cheers to you.

  2. Love the web page. Looks great. I collect 90-ish authors of sic-fi fantasy and I’ve finally got mine out of most of the boxes. I’ve still got two boxes left but not enough shelf space. Nora Roberts – nor read much of them but she’s still mostly in a box. Cats. LOVE THEM. unfortunately I had to rehome mine due to bad asthma. so now I keep books of them on the shelf….
    I’m gonna pop back now and then…..keep updating.
    J-

    • Jeanette, I visited your site (again I love it although we don’t have dogs) after reading this. Left a comment on tug of war (I so agree). Thanks for this comment and I certainly empathise with the books in boxes.

  3. What an awesome site, it takes a lot of dedication and love of books to create a website like this. Have you thought about using the Genesis Author Theme, I did a review of it on Bloggers Refuge site, it would be extremely fitting for this type of niche.

    I love animals, I have fostered wolf dogs and have one cat. I’m sure there are many books about wolf dogs, their mysticalness captures most folks. Cats also have a mystical appearance and as you say they can control you and some how even sway you to get you to do what they want.

    • Hi Sharon, it’s lovely to receive your comment. I will look into Genesis for future work but am now quite liking the Hiero theme and I have grown used to it.

      Like you I too love animals. We tend to cats as they are easier to manage when we move around a bit. When I was at university in Vancouver, two acquaintances had a rescue wolf (grey possibly as it was quite white). When it first raced at me I got a bit of a shock but it turned out to be very friendly. I am not sure what the fuss is as these two ‘canine’ groups have been intermingling for centuries. We have the same here with the dingos. Unfortunately the crosses seem to be a bit more untrustworthy.

      If you look at my About page you will see Matilda, a rescued Brush Tailed possum. We didn’t actually rescue her; her mother dumped her on our back doorstep!

      I will be exploring more animal tales (pun!) in my work here and as I have already encountered ferocious looking but helpful large canines I am sure a wolf dog will appear sometime. Even if I have to write it.

      Please visit again as I am sure I will be re-looking at your website too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *