02 September, 2015

"The Cat Who..." Books

I am a huge fan of Lilian Jackson Braun, the author of "The Cat Who..." series, which began with "The Cat Who Could Read Backwards", published in 1966.  Lilian wrote for both of the two large newspapers in Metro Detroit: The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press.  In this first novel, one character's name is George Bonifield Mountclemens III.  When I discovered this one book, it was 2009 and I was living in Mount Clemens, Michigan.  Coincidence?  I think not!

So, I devoured the book, enjoying the imagery of the city (which most definitely the Detroit area and some Chicago too) and the interaction between Jim Qwilleran, a sort of down-on-his-luck newspaper writer, and a cat named Kao K'o-Kung - Koko for short.  It was not until I had finished that first book, when I discovered that there was a series which finally reached 29 published books, with a few short stories thrown in for good measure.

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (1966)
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (1967)
The Cat Who Turned On and Off (1968)
The Cat Who Saw Red (1986)
The Cat Who Played Brahms (1987)
The Cat Who Played Post Office (1987)
The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (1988)
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (1988)
The Cat Who Went Underground (1989)
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (1990)
The Cat Who Lived High (1990)
The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal (1991)
The Cat Who Moved a Mountain (1992)
The Cat Who Wasn't There (1992)
The Cat Who Went into the Closet (1993)
The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (1994)
The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (1995)
The Cat Who Said Cheese (1996)
The Cat Who Tailed a Thief (1997)
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (1999)
The Cat Who Saw Stars (1999)
The Cat Who Robbed a Bank (2000)
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat (2001)
The Cat Who Went up the Creek (2002)
The Cat Who Brought Down the House (2003)
The Cat Who Talked Turkey (2004)
The Cat Who Went Bananas (2005)
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (2006)
The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (2007)

I had the good fortune to have a friend who owned the entire series, and she loaned me her books!  I delightedly read each one in order, and it was a splendid way to get through the doldrums of that long-ago winter.

Time-traveling back to the present day, I found a audiobook while visiting the local library recently. 

"The Private Life of the Cat Who...", by Lilian Jackson Braun, published in 2003.  I immediately checked it out on my library card, and listened in my car.  My mind instantly traveled back to those wonderful stories, about Koko and Yum Yum, and the crazy people Jim Qwilleran met in his travels. What a delightful little oasis of cat-based shenanigans to wile away my commute; I listened while driving to and from the office for a few days.

If you have not yet dipped your toe into "The Cat Who..." ocean, please give it a try!  G-Rated, mostly, and the stories are easy enough to read, without starting at the beginning.  Unfortunately, Lilian passed away before her final book was completed in 2011, but I believe this series will live on for a very, very long time. 

P.S. My favorite book is "The Cat Who Saw Stars".  Without giving anything away, the author weaves a story about the probability that cats are from outer space.  Yep, you read that correctly!

P.S.S. I don't know why there is an white outline around my typing today; cannot make it disappear...goes to show that I'm better at blogging than being a computer geek!


  1. mom LOVES these books....and has read most of them more than once

    1. Tell your mom to listen to them in audio recording! It's fun!

  2. This is a great series. I liked the early books best, up to the first few when he hit Pickax. Koko is truly a pawsome character.

    1. I always though Pickax was a substitute for the real city of Bad Axe, in the thumb area of Michigan.

  3. zzzzzllltt....cat space stayshunz trout 7 ....callin chuck......due ewe reed uz....come in chuck ...we iz pree parin ta land zzzzzzzlllltttttt...dood...we iz brakin up.......over & out for now ♥♥

    1. You completely slay me with your humor!!!!
      But it's not funny, if it's the truth...cats are from space!

  4. Shame on me, I have never read any of these- I better get to the library .

    1. I've found copies at every library that I visit, and I visit quite a few! The first books are much more in depth, but the later ones are quick, fun reads. Hope you chance upon one or two of these.

  5. Mom read the series having found it around the 90's.She remembers having to wait for a new book to come out!
    Now, she often re-reads some of the books. They are entertaining and the characters enjoyable.
    Naturally she likes the cats ;)
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

    1. Wished I had been reading them all along; it would have been fun to wait for a new one! Especially when Qwill had a lady friend...giggle.

  6. The mom loves these books too. And from the list you have, she can see that she's missed reading a few of them.

    1. The great part is that all of the libraries have the books; they were enjoyed by many readers, for many years.

  7. What a cool series that I have actually never heard of! Thank you for blogging about them
    It is even cooler that she is from our area!

    1. Caren, I think you'd really like these books; they are at every library around. It's fun to find the hints of Metro Detroit, and in the later books, 'up north' is like the thumb area, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City.

  8. Amazing you can read all those books !
    Must be real good !!
    My mom like cat books too, but she love cat memoir =^~^=

    Thanks for great wish on my B-Day

  9. Sounds like a great series. I love those titles...the cat who robbed a bank sounds very interesting. And the idea of kitties from outer space. What a fun :-)

  10. Cats are from outer space? Hmmm, I may have to check that out.

    Your white background....has something to do with font formatting. I can see it in the page coding but can't tell you how to fix it in blogger. Maybe you accidentally clicked some formatting thingy.


Thanks for your comments; we LURV them! Purrr....