A while back I received an e-mail from artist Martha Knox asking whether I’d like to review her book CATS A – Z. In recent years I’ve become wary of these requests because most of the time the cat books I’m offered are either annoyingly humourous (sorry but I’m not into Lol cats or “I haz” cats) or too mawkish. Of course, I love my cats and think they are cute but they are far more than that. They are interesting, fascinating and complex. Something told me that Martha’s book would be quite different. I was right. The book she sent me is simply amazing.
Just look at this woodcut of a sleeping cat. It serves as the end pages of the book.
In her book Martha Knox goes through the alphabet sharing true stories and mythology, accompanied by bits of information and illustrated with gorgeous woodcuts. Some of the stories are stunning, some are sad, others are informative. Some stories are about famous cats like All Ball, a kitten adopted by a gorilla in a zoo. Others about unknown cats or literary cats like Raton from Jean de La Fontaine’s fable The Monkey and the Cat.
The picture above shows Zombi, the cat of British poet Richard Southey. Southey claimed in a letter that his cat saw the devil.
I truly love this book and think that many poeple would enjoy it just as much. It would make a wonderful gift for any cat or art lover.
For those who want to find out more, maybe buy the book, read something about Martha or even buy a print, here are a few links: