“Feline Chronicles: An Illustrated Adventure Through the Timeless History of Cats”

The book features Baba, a cat who takes on the roles of both narrator and protagonist, making for a truly unique and exceptional feline story.

Baba the cat in ancient Egyptian costume (main longform)

Paul Koudounaris has written a fascinating book called “A Cat’s Tale,” which takes readers on a historical journey through the world of cats. The inspiration behind the book is Koudounaris’s own pet cat, Baba, who he adopted in 2011 from the North Central Animal Shelter. Although Koudounaris had not intended to adopt a cat that day, Baba caught his attention with her captivating green eyes and outstretched paw. Baba soon became Koudounaris’s loyal companion, and she also served as the narrator and model for his book. “A Cat’s Tale” explores the history of cats over thousands of years, starting from ancient Egypt and moving through to modern times. The book features both famous and lesser-known cats, and tells the story of the journey of Felis catus throughout history.

Preview thumbnail for 'A Cat's Tale: A Journey Through Feline History

Join Baba the Cat on an incredible expedition as she unravels the captivating and extensive history of cats. Get ready for a thrilling ride that will uncover the remarkable traits of these adorable creatures – their bravery, affection, heart-wrenching tales, and even their acts of selflessness. Although you may have some doubts initially, Baba the Cat is determined to demonstrate that the chronicles of felines are far more profound and meaningful than you ever imagined.

Roman cat

In the time of Julius Caesar, the Roman soldiers utilized cats to protect their provisions from pests. These cats were highly prized and were taken with the imperial legions on their voyage to Britannia. Interestingly, some Roman armies even embellished their shields with depictions of cats. Author Paul Koudounaris shared this captivating piece of historical information.

Cowboy cat

In the olden days, cowboys often had cats as their loyal companions. These furry friends not only kept rodents at bay, but also provided good company for their human counterparts during long travels. The idea that cats were more than mere pets was popularized by famous writers such as Mark Twain and poet Cy Warman. However, what sets Paul Koudounaris’ book, A Cat’s Tale, apart from other cat-centric literature is the unique perspective that he offers. The book is narrated by Baba, a cat who not only provides her take on feline history but also appears dressed as iconic figures throughout the book. Koudounaris challenges the notion that history should only focus on humans by including stories of forgotten cats and other animals overlooked by conventional historical accounts. The inspiration for this book came to Koudounaris while he was researching pet cemeteries from around the world. He found himself with too many captivating cat tales to include in his project, so he decided to create a book where Baba takes center stage and showcases the rich history of cats.

Cardinal Richeliu

Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister of Louis XIII in France, was famous for his strict and authoritative leadership style. Nevertheless, he had a fondness for cats and always kept around twelve of them with him. A chronicler once observed that the cardinal’s “tyrannical” behavior transformed into something gentler whenever he was around his beloved purring companions.

U.S. Army cat

In the early 1800s, cats became a common sight in U.S. Army commissary storehouses where they were allotted a yearly budget of $18.25 for their care and upkeep. A Cat’s Tale, a book by Paul Koudounaris, goes beyond just being a regular book. It is a celebration of the relationship that Koudounaris shared with his cat, Baba, and also provides a comprehensive history of cats and their place in human society. The making of this book involved two major aspects: creating costumes for Baba and researching various sources to gather information on feline history. Koudounaris faced quite a challenge in sourcing appropriate clothing for Baba, resorting to eBay, flea markets, and vintage doll meetups, and even hiring a friend to help create some of the more intricate costumes. However, Baba proved to be an excellent model, nailing the perfect look and expression in about 99% of the photoshoots with ease. A Cat’s Tale is a tribute to all the feline pets that have touched our lives and provides a unique perspective on their impact on human society.

Napoleon Bonaparte cat

It is known that Napoleon Bonaparte did not have a soft spot for cats. In fact, he made a statement that dogs and cats have different kinds of loyalty. He was not in favor of using cats to catch rats on the streets of Paris, choosing instead to use poison. Unfortunately, this decision resulted in the sickness of both humans and rodents. These details were shared by Paul Koudounaris.

Andy Warhol cat

Famous artist and Pop Art pioneer, Andy Warhol, was known for his love of cats and at one point owned up to 25 Siamese cats, with only one named Sam being an exception. Before his rise to fame, Warhol created a book of cat lithographs in 1954, which is now valued at tens of thousands of dollars. Paul Koudounaris conducted research across the globe, uncovering fascinating stories about cats. He explored the history of Maneki-Neko, the Japanese cat that inspired the popular raised-paw good luck cat in Tokyo. He also discovered Room 8, a grey tabby that became a school’s mascot in Los Angeles for 16 years, receiving hundreds of fan letters, TV specials, and even had a biography written about him. One of Koudounaris’ favorite discoveries was the Puss’n Boots Award, a lost prize given by a California cat food company in the 1950s and 1960s. The award was given to black cat Clementine Jones, who walked from Dunkirk, New York, to Aurora, Colorado, in search of her human family, including a single paw with seven toes that made her unique. This remarkable feat changed the way Americans perceived cats as second-grade animals to dogs. Although cats have now become pop culture icons and beloved pets, Koudounaris believes that there is still much to learn about them. He encourages readers to cherish their own cats and experience history through the feline perspective.

Frontier cat

In the time of the American frontier, felines were a rare commodity that were highly desired but not readily available. Resourceful entrepreneurs in the Midwest capitalized on this demand by purchasing cats in bulk and transporting them to the Dakotas. As far back as the 1880s, a single Arizona cat was worth an impressive sum of $10, which was considered a considerable amount of money during that period. In Alaska, cats were so valuable that they were often bartered for their weight in gold. This intriguing bit of information was relayed by Paul Koudounaris.

17th-century French cat

In 17th century France, cats became a popular choice for women in the court to keep as companions instead of dogs. Princess Elizabeth Charlotte, who was married to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, even went as far as to declare that cats were the most enchanting creatures on Earth. This marked a change from the previous preference for lapdogs among the upper classes. Today, the trend of owning cats as pets remains popular, with many people finding them to be delightful and amusing companions.

Patriotic cat

Following the American Revolution, the United States took the lead in setting aside funds for feline friends. This budget, which amounted to approximately $1,000 annually, was exclusively designated for postal cats. It was their responsibility to maintain a rodent-free environment. The sum of money allocated to each city was based on the quantity of mail they processed.

Patriotic cat

After the conclusion of the American Revolution, the United States took the lead in setting aside funds for cats in their budget. The government allotted approximately $1,000 per year specifically for postal cats, whose main responsibility was to regulate the number of mice in the area. The allotment of these resources was determined by the mail volume in each city.

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