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Kitty Lit: Classic Books Updated With Pettable Protagonists

Two of my favourite things in a mash-up that will make you purr.

Literature, like the Internet, is full of cats. Literary cats range from the illustrated (like Garfield and Heathcliff), to the beloved companions (like Tao from The Incredible Journey and Crookshanks from the Harry Potter books), to legendary kitties (like Puss in Boots), to the downright bizarre (like the grinning and inscrutable Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). And of course we could never forget T.S. Eliot’s Practical Cats. (w/Edward Gorey) You should know that I can’t do a post like this without mentioning the phenomenon that is Simon’s Cat. A YouTube cartoon by Simon Tofield with over 2 million hits (mostly by me) can be mentioned here because Simon’s Cat has just starred in his third book, yay!
It’s well known (among people like us) that many literary types are also feline fans, but what if even more novels were written with our furry friends at the forefront? I saw a post made on FLAVORWIRE where they posted their top ten favourite covers from a larger article over at AbeBooks. The editors at AbeBooks imagined the plots of classic books if they had been written about cats, having kittified the titles & covers to match! Once I saw the kitteh-synopsis of some of my favourite books, I knew I couldn’t share just the FLAVORWIRE cover pics.
I’m posting some of my faves here, but be sure to check out AbeBooks article in its entirety to see them all. (Some of these might have read better than the originals!)

The Girl With The Kitten Tattoo

A kitten vanishes in Sweden, and none of the townsfolk are talking. What’s the matter – cat got your tongue? Only Lisbeth Salander, super-sleuth and cat-fancier, can follow a trail this cold. What follows can only be described as a deadly game of cat and mouse.
The original: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Flowers in the CAttic

The four kittens had such perfect lives until the old tomcat died and they moved into their grandmother’s attic. No yarn, no catnip, and only one litterbox. Days stretched into years of fearful captivity, but their own abiding love was a solid, furry strength.
The original: Flowers in the Attic

The Cat Hair in My Eye

Holden Catfield is a whiny, disillusioned youth barely out of kittenhood. As he roams New York City, he becomes increasingly despairing of the state of the world, and lacks faith and hope in the goodness of society. With any luck, neutering him will make him less moody. Or maybe a nice ball of string.
The original: The Catcher In The Rye

The Catanic Verses

Set in a modern world filled with both tabbies and tigers, the story is a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. Author Salmon Rushdie had a catwa called down upon him as a result of its publication.
The original: The Satanic Verses

A Tale of Two Kitties

It was the best of times, it was the furriest of times…this immortal novel of the cats of the French Revolution tells the story of the courageous Sydney Catton, a manx ready to give his life for a tortoiseshell who will never be his.
The original: A Tale Of Two Cities


Don’t go in the litterbox. Don’t go near the scratching post. Don’t sit on the sofa. And now, for the first time….don’t go in the water. With razor sharp claws and a thirst for vengeance, Kitty is back, and this time….she can swim.
The original: Jaws


Litterbox-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great anti-war, pro-cat books. Kitty Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured nine lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most. Dogs.
The original: Slaughterhouse-Five

Lord of the Fleas

A group of adolescent fleas are stranded on a lush, furry tabby with no adult fleas, and the ever-present threat of a well-aimed claw. Eventually, despite plentiful blood and space, the stress of the situation becomes too great, and they turn on one another and sharpen a cat-hair at both ends.
The original: Lord of the Flies

The Great Catsby

The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Catsby and his love for Fluffy Buchanan, of lavish parties at a time when everything was coming up cats. The New York Times noted “catnip was the national drug and yarn the national obsession,” and The Great Catsby is an exquisitely crafted tale of cat-life in America in the 1920s.
The original: The Great Gatsby


Fuzzy McGee, aka “Furball”, manager of the local Cat-ball team, is leading a revolution. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer, purebred teams. Furball is a tale of cat-like cunning about a bunch of mix-breed kitties from the pound making good.
The original: Moneyball

Catlas Shrugged

Catlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a cat who said that he would stop the mice of the world–and did. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a cat’s body, but about the murder–and rebirth–of a cat’s spirit.
The original: Atlas Shrugged

The Very Hungry Cat

A kitten is born. But not just any kitten….a very hungry kitten. As he becomes a cat, he eats his way through a fish head, a chicken leg, a block of cheese, a can of tuna, six bowls of kibble, seven herrings and an anchovy pizza, until he is a full-grown cat.
The original: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Other Very Hungry Cat
The Other Very Hungry Cat

What would the Kittified title of your favourite book be?
Can you write a synopsis for me?
Can you do one for Twilight?