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Cat Lovers Book Club - January 2020

Welcome to the January 2020 selection of our Cat Lovers Book Club.

The Ship's Cat Who Helped Flinders Map Australia
by Matthew Flinders, Gillian Dooley, Philippa Sandall

Not many ships' cats have even one memorial statue, let alone six! But Trim does, including one outside Euston Station in London, proudly unveiled by Prince William on the bicentenary of Matthew Flinders' death – 19 July 2014.

Trim was the ship's cat who accompanied Matthew Flinders on his voyages to circumnavigate and map the coastline of Australia from 1801 to 1803. He lived quite the adventurous life. 

As a small kitten he fell overboard while at sea but managed to swim back to the vessel and climb back on board by scaling a rope. This cemented his position as Flinders' beloved companion, and together they survived a voyage around the world, the circumnavigation of Australia and a shipwreck. When Flinders was imprisoned by the French in Mauritius in 1803 Trim shared his captivity until one day he mysteriously disappeared – which Flinders attributed to his being stolen and eaten by a hungry slave.

Trim, The Cartographer's Cat is an ode to this much-loved ship's cat, which will warm the heart of any cat lover. The first part of the book reproduces Flinders' own whimsical tribute to Trim, written while in captivity in the early 1800s, with added 'friendly footnotes' to provide some background to Flinders' numerous literary allusions and nautical terms. Next the book discusses where Flinders was when he wrote his tribute and why, and what his letters and journals from that time tell us about his 'sporting, affectionate and useful companion'. Finally, we learn what Trim's views on all of this might have been, in a fun and fanciful observation on his premature epitaph.

Accompanying all of this are beautiful maps, historical artworks, quirky original illustrations by Ad Long and excerpts from Flinders' original script, showing his beautiful handwriting. This book will make a unique and treasured gift for Flinders fans, Trim fans and cat lovers around the world.

Hardcover, 128 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing, Imprint: Adlard Coles, 17th October 2019

RRP: $22.49 at

Celebrating the History, Culture & Love of the Cat

by Amy Shojai

"Though a cat may choose to share her affection with a human or two, she will always remain that quixotic mix of unpredictability and individuality that challenges the understanding of the most patient among us. It is as if they know that when they first stepped into the human ring of firelight, they forever altered our history, influencing our religions, our literature, our art--our very lives." (Introduction)

Chapter One, "Evolutionary Cat" traces the domestic feline back to the Paleocene Era, then introduces its big cat relatives. Sidebars highlight the fascinating evolutionary differences between big cats and small cats, which clearly explain why the smaller kitties became household favourites. 

Chapter Two, "Cultured Cat", is a survey of artistic homage paid to the cat. From Aesop's fables to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, cats have been featured as analogy, metaphor, and hero.

Chapter Three, "Physical Cat", is a guide to understanding and caring for your cat. First, each of the cat's senses and physical attributes are described, to reveal how they see the world. Important cat care issues are discussed.

Cat Life closes with a "Gallery of Breeds" a parade of fascinating cat types with descriptions of their unique personalities and special characteristics.

Overflowing with endearing photographs and enlightening, entertaining text, Cat Life is sure to capture the fancy of ailurophiles everywhere.

Paperback, 138 pages
Publisher: 1st December 2019

RRP: $52.95 at

The Essential Guide

by Robert Duffy (Editor)

A unique guide for cat lovers to deal with emergencies, accidents and injuries. 

It stresses the importance of knowing what to do in the time between discovery and getting the cat to the vet.

The guide also covers a full array of the general treatment needed for a variety of health issues that can affect cats. These include choking, bandaging, medication, bleeding, burns, heatstroke and hypothermia and other common injuries and illnesses.

Written in easy to understand language, the book is an essential guide for all cat lovers.

Paperback, 78 pages
Publisher: BX Plans Ltd, 14th November 2019

Price: $17.98 (free delivery) at

A Cat Groomer Mystery

by Eileen Watkins

The fur is really going to fly when groomer Cassie McGlone drags in a catnapper ...

With her new van, Cassie has expanded her Comfy Cat business to include mobile cat grooming. Next stop: a cat expo at a hotel just outside her hometown of Chadwick, New Jersey, where Cassie will give a grooming demo using shelter cats to encourage adoption while her veterinarian boyfriend Mark will offer a program on cat care and health.

The highlight of the expo will be a major cat show featuring pop sensation Jaki Natal. Almost as famous as his owner is her pet Gordie, a Scottish fold, who's become a social media darling. But when adorable Gordie goes missing and his sitter is found murdered, Jaki is having kittens. 

While the cops are more interested in solving the murder of a human, Jaki insists Cassie help expose the catnapper and return gorgeous Gordie to the fold. Now it's Cassie's turn to solo as she plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a culprit who's not afraid to pounce . . .

Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia, Imprint: Kensington, 31st December 2019

RRP: $25.99 from all good book stores and online. Visit 


BRINA THE CAT The Gang of the Feline Sun  
by Giorgio Salati, Christian Cornia (Illustrator)

Brina, a city cat, moved to the mountains with the owners for a summer holiday. Here she meets some stray cats who call themselves “The Gang of the Feline Sun". The new friends convince her to escape her owners and become a free cat. 

But while Brina enjoys her newfound freedom and all the new types of delectable bugs the countryside has to offer, her young owners are panicking over losing her, a member of their family.

Brina must make a choice to live with her owners, where it’s safe (but confined) or go free in the wilderness. A heartwarming tender cat tale.

Paperback, 88 pages
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia, Imprint: Papercutz, 14th January 2020
For Ages: 8+ years old

RRP: $19.99 at

Two Cats to the Rescue 
by Tom Watson

Tom Watson's Stick Cat: Two Cats to the Rescue is a backyard adventure involving a curious baby, two daring cats, and a pack of hungry pups!

Millie needs Stick Cat's help. When little Millie wanders off, Stick Cat needs to get her back. It's a rescue mission with too many obstacles to count. There's a runaway butterfly, a pole-vaulting adventure, and a growling beast in the woods. Yikes.

And, of course, there's Edith. Oh, Edith.

Will Stick Cat be able to navigate around her wacky plans, fragile ego and peculiar ways Just when he's doubting his chances, five familiar dogs burst onto the scene to help this rescue mission succeed.

Fans of the Stick Dog series and other quick, funny reads will delight in this funny, furry, feline fracas. Stick Cat is ready to go!

Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia, 28th November 2019 
For Ages: 8+ years old

Price: $17.25 at

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