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Top 5 books with talking cats, chosen by Judith Robinson and Scott Pack

The literary feline experts select five books that feature chatty cats

Judith Robinson and Scott Pack, authors of Literary Cats, choose their top five books featuring talking cats.

1. The Mahābhārata by Vyāsa

Lomasa is one of the very first speaking cats. He appears in the Sanskrit epic, the Mahābhārata, from the third century BCE. He uses his powers of persuasion to convince a mouse to rescue him from a hunter’s trap. 

2. Puss in Boots by Giovanni Francesco Straparola

Puss in Boots has endured from his origins in a 16th century fairytale right through to being voiced by Antonio Banderas on the cinema screens of the present day.

3. Tobermory by Saki

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Those attending Lady Blemley’s dinner party are astounded when one of the guests claims to have taught the family cat, Tobermory, to speak. This wonder soon turns to embarrassment when the cat reveals all the gossip he has overheard around the house.

4. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

A talking cat the size of a pig that walks on its hind legs, drinks vodka and hangs around with Satan causes havoc on the streets of Moscow. Bulgakov’s Behemoth is one of the most deliciously evil cats in fiction.

5. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

Not evil, but certainly mischievous, is Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, who has entertained generations with his attempts to distract two small children from an otherwise boring day while their mother is out.

Literary Cats by Judith Robinson and Scott Pack is out on September 30 (Bodleian Library, £16.99). You can buy it from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member.You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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