“Feline Fables: An Illustrated Adventure Exploring the Fascinating History of Cats”

The book features Baba, a cat who serves as both the main character and narrator, making it one of the most unique feline chronicles ever published.

Baba the cat in ancient Egyptian costume (main longform)

Paul Koudounaris’ latest literary work, “A Cat’s Tale,” takes readers on a unique historical journey through the fascinating history of felines. The inspiration for this book was his beloved pet cat Baba, who he adopted from the North Central Animal Shelter in 2011. Initially, Koudounaris did not plan on adopting a pet, but when he saw the six-month-old brown tabby with her intent green eyes and outstretched paw, he couldn’t resist. Baba not only became Koudounaris’ cherished companion but also served as the narrator and model for his book. “A Cat’s Tale” is a comprehensive account of thousands of years of feline history, from ancient Egypt to modern times, highlighting both well-known and lesser-known cats and chronicling Felis catus’ incredible journey throughout history.

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

Get ready for an incredible ride with Baba the Cat as your guide, who will take you on an enthralling journey through the captivating history of cats. Prepare yourself for an exhilarating experience that will uncover the true nature of these fluffy creatures – their bravery, affectionate nature, heart-wrenching tales, and even their selfless acts. Although you may have your doubts initially, Baba the Cat is here to prove that the history of cats is fascinating and meaningful beyond what you could have ever imagined.

Roman cat

Back in the days of Julius Caesar’s rule, Roman soldiers had a secret weapon to protect their supplies from pesky pests – cats! These furry creatures were highly prized by the soldiers and were even taken along on their journey to Britannia. Some armies even went as far as to feature cat images on their shields. Interesting fact, huh? Thanks to Paul Koudounaris for sharing this tidbit from history.

Cowboy cat

In the past, cowboys often traveled with their feline companions for both company and pest control. The concept of cats being more than just domesticated animals became popular through the works of renowned writers such as Mark Twain and poet Cy Warman. A unique take on feline history is presented in Paul Koudounaris’ book, A Cat’s Tale. The book is narrated by Baba, a cat who not only provides insights into the history of cats but also appears dressed up as historic figures throughout the book. Koudounaris goes beyond human-centric stories and includes the tales of forgotten cats and animals that have been left out of history. The idea for the book emerged from Koudounaris’ research on pet cemeteries worldwide. He realized that he had too many fascinating stories about cats to include in his previous project and thus decided to create a book that would showcase the extensive history of cats, with Baba as the protagonist.

Cardinal Richeliu

Cardinal Richelieu, who held the position of chief minister under Louis XIII in France, was renowned for his assertive and stringent leadership approach. Despite this, he had a fondness for cats and frequently had a dozen feline friends around him. A historian who documented his life even remarked that the cardinal’s “authoritarian” demeanor became more amiable when he was in the company of his beloved purring companions.

U.S. Army cat

In the 1800s, cats were regularly kept in U.S. Army commissary storehouses with allocated funds for their upkeep. Author Paul Koudounaris’ book, A Cat’s Tale, celebrates his love and connection with his cat Baba while exploring feline history and cosplay. The book’s creation involved designing costumes for Baba and conducting extensive research on cats’ role in human society, drawing from archives and libraries. Selecting appropriate costumes proved to be the most challenging aspect of the photography process, as Koudounaris had to source items from various places and even hired a friend to help with some designs. However, Baba’s modeling skills were exceptional, nailing the perfect look and expression on the first shot in almost all photoshoots. A Cat’s Tale is a tribute to all cats in our lives and their significance throughout history.

Napoleon Bonaparte cat

Napoleon Bonaparte did not have a soft spot for cats and expressed his belief that dogs and cats have distinct forms of loyalty. He was against the idea of employing cats to catch rats in the streets of Paris and chose to use poison instead, which unfortunately resulted in illness for both humans and rodents. These details are shared by Paul Koudounaris.

Andy Warhol cat

Andy Warhol, the renowned pioneer of Pop Art, had a deep affection for felines and kept up to 25 Siamese cats at a time, except for one named Sam. Before attaining fame, Warhol created a book featuring lithographs of cats in 1954, which is now valued at thousands of dollars. Paul Koudounaris went on a journey to different parts of the world, including Wisconsin, Massachusetts, France, and New Zealand, and uncovered captivating stories about cats wherever he went. He delved into the origins of Maneki-Neko, the Japanese cat that inspired the well-known beckoning cat in Tokyo, and discovered Room 8, a gray tabby that served as a school mascot in Los Angeles for 16 years, receiving numerous fan mail, TV features, and even a biography. Koudounaris’s favorite discovery was the Puss’n Boots Award, an award vanished into obscurity, distributed by a California cat food company during the 1950s and 1960s. The honor, awarded to Clementine Jones, a black cat with seven toes on one paw who walked from Dunkirk, New York, to Aurora, Colorado, in search of her human family, shattered the notion that dogs were superior to cats in American culture. Cats have now become pop-culture icons and cherished pets, but Koudounaris believes there is still more about them yet to be learned. He encourages readers to appreciate their own cats and explore history through them.

Frontier cat

Back in the days of the American frontier, cats were a rare and valuable commodity. Finding one was like striking gold, and businessmen in the Midwest knew that all too well. They capitalized on the demand for feline friends by buying and transporting large quantities of them to the Dakotas. Surprisingly, Arizona saw a record sale of a single cat for $10 in the 1880s, which was a considerable sum of money back then. Meanwhile, in Alaska, cats were so highly valued that they could be traded for their weight in gold! These fascinating insights into the importance of cats in history were brought to light by Paul Koudounaris.

17th-century French cat

Back in 17th century France, cats stole the spotlight from lapdogs as the preferred companions for noblewomen in court. Princess Elizabeth Charlotte, married to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, even declared them to be the most captivating creatures around. This marked a dramatic change from the upper class’s previous preference for lapdogs. Nowadays, owning a cat as a pet is still popular and many people enjoy their company as fun and charming companions.

Patriotic cat

Following the American Revolution, the United States took the lead in setting aside funds for feline friends. This budget was designated for postal cats and amounted to approximately $1,000 annually. These cats had the important task of managing the mouse population. The allocation of funds to each city was determined by the amount of mail they processed.

Patriotic cat

After the Revolutionary War, the US became the first country to budget money specifically for cats. The government set aside approximately $1,000 per year for postal cats, whose main duty was to keep the mouse population under control. The amount of funding each city received was based on their mail volume.

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