It’s National Happy Cat Month at York Public Library

Jane Sivski, York Public Library Development and Marketing Coordinator
| The York Weekly special

If you’re a regular shelf life reader, you know that at York Public Library we look forward to library card enrollment month. But did you know that September is also National Happy Cat Month?

I did not. I fear that my membership in the Crazy Cat Lady Confederation * will be revoked.

This important month came to my attention when our new youth ministry director, YPL veteran Katie Arey, was busily putting up a new September exhibit in the nursery. She walked picture books under her arm past my desk and announced cheerfully: “It’s Happy Cat Month!”

I turned in my chair with such force that my travel mug tipped over and my “cat of the day” calendar flung from my desk onto the floor. (The mug is a chic, non-leaking variety and no cats have been spilled and luckily not a drop of coffee has been sacrificed.)

A frantic internet search confirmed that September is indeed “Happy Cat Month”. How could I, an avowed cat lover, grope in the dark? A tremendous oversight, a stain on my very cat-obsessed soul! Then and there, as atonement for my “fur pas”, I compiled a complete list of all cat-related holidays and celebrations, both official and unofficial. I’ll add highlights from this list at the bottom of this column – but please contact me for the full list.

Books about cats abound – but there are several that hold a special place in my heart. My favorite cat books lately have been picture books. I have a 4 year old nephew and since he was born I have strategically exposed him to everything cat related in the hopes that one day he will be as passionate about cats as I am. (He has FaceTimed my cat, Muffy, on a number of occasions so I believe we are on the right track to make that goal a reality.)

Here are some of my favorites. I’m not a librarian, but damn it, I love cats – so I hope you read these books and speak to a YPL librarian for more recommendations.

picture books

“Duncan and Dolores” by Barbara O’Neal

“The Cat at Night” by Dahlov Ipcar

“They all saw a cat” by Brendan Wenzel

“Library Lion” by Michelle Knudsen

“Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes

“Katzenhund Hund” by Nelly Buchet

“Million cats” by Wanda Gág

“A Pussycat’s Christmas” by Margaret Wise Brown

“Sneakers, the Seaside Cat” by Margaret Wise Brown

“I am a cat” by Galia Bernstein

“Big cat, little cat” by Elisha Cooper

“Mama Cat has three kittens” by Denise Fleming

“The Small Island” by Margaret Wise Brown

“Kitten and the Night Watchman” by John Sullivan (construction sites * AND * cats! I’m the best aunt!)

The Pete the Cat books by Eric Litwin and James Dean

The “Skippyjon Jones” books by Judy Schachner

For all ages

“The Fur Person” by May Sarton

“Cat Stories” by James Herriot

The graphic novels “Simon’s Cat” by Simon Tofield

For adults

The “Cat Who” books by Lilian Jackson Braun (if you like a cozy mystery!)

The “Mrs. Murphy” Secrets of Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (no less co-authored by a cat!)

“The ragged hole in my heart and the cat who fixed it” by Geneen Roth

What are your favorite cat books? I hope you will share it with me.

Cat-related special days

Last but not least, as promised, here are fourteen important dates for other cat fanatics:

January 2nd: Happy Mew Year for Cat’s Day

January 22nd: National Day for Answering Your Cat’s Questions

Month of February: National Cat Health Month

March 17th: Feast of St. Gertrude von Nivelles, patron saint of cats (!)

Month of June: National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month (fun fact: my previous job was at a shelter)

June 4th: National Your Cat’s Hug Day

June 19: International Boxing Day, National Garfield the Cat Day

June 20: National Take Your Cat to Work Day (I suggest working remotely that day)

July 10: National Kitten Day

August 8: International Cat Day

Month of September: National Happy Cat Month

October 27: National Black Cat Day

October 29: National Cat Day

December 15: National Cat Shepherds Day (I wish you the best of luck on this task)

(* To the best of my knowledge, the Crazy Cat Lady Confederation is not a real thing, but I would be interested in starting one if others are interested. Check the library staff page. I’m the one holding a cat doll (her name is Penelope) and a book called “The Complete Cat Book”.)

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