Mysterious as a Cat: Famous Felines in Literature

There seems to be a special relationship between writers and cats, whether it be Ernest Hemingway and the multitudes of 6-toed fuzzballs haunting his Key West estate, or Raymond Chandler, whose cat, according to his agent, may have been his closest confidant. Even the great Edgar Allen Poe once wrote, "I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat."

So in celebration of National Cat Day here's a selection of literary felines and cat-related literature from our upcoming auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature featuring The Lawrence M. Solomon Collection.

Lot 266: Edgar Allen Poe, Works, 10 volumes, limited edition, number 130 of 250, Chicago, 1894-95. Estimate $500 to $750.
Among Poe's many mysterious and macabre works is a short story entitled "The Black Cat," which depicts the tumultuous relationship between the narrator and his cat, Pluto. 

Lot 388: Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, first edition, first printing, New York, 1958. Estimate $800 to $1,200. 

Capote's Holly Golightly may flit from companion to companion in this classic novella, but her one constant company is a tabby aptly named, Cat. 


Lot 375: Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, London, 1897. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500. 

Alice's world is inhabited by two fantastic felines. At home, she enjoys the company of her amiable cat Dinah, while in Wonderland she is teased and tormented by the riddle-filled Cheshire Cat, whose likeness can by seen in the upper right corner of the fancifully bound copy above. 

Lot 395: Frank L. Baum, The Emerald City of Oz and The Scarecrow of Oz, first editions, Chicago, 1910 & 1915. Estimate $600 to $900. 

While most of us think of Dorothy's trusty terrier Toto when asked to conjure animals from these tales, the land of Oz is well-populated by cats too: Eureka, a kitten who starts out as white but is either pink or purple in Oz; Bungle, an animate glass cat; and of course, the Cowardly Lion. 

Lot 413: Wanda Ga'g, Millions of Cats, first edition, signed by the author, New York, 1928. Estimate $400 to $600. 

This 1929 Newbery Honor award winner tells the tale of an elderly couple trying to choose a cat, we won't spoil the story, but when cats are involved, things are bound to get a little complicated. 


For more books by cat-loving authors, peruse our complete catalogue








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