The Most Feel Good Feline Feeds You Should Be Following
By Sumaiyya Naseem (@sumaiyya.books)
If you’re anything like me, you’re crazy about books and cats.
In fact, it is scientifically proven (don’t make me search for the link) that majority of bookworms are usually animal lovers, often with a cat (or a dog) as their best friend. So it’s no surprise that there are beautiful accounts on Bookstagram where a cat regularly graces us mere mortals with her enchanting presence.
I’ve recently been missing my cat Gatsby who is staying with my brother for the summer (Why’s she with him? It’s a long story, but she’ll be back before August ends!). Gatsby gets all the love on my Bookstagram, and I’m pretty sure she’s the reason people even follow me.
Gatsby has been a part of my Bookstagram since the day I adopted her two years ago. She has grown from a curious little kitten sniffing books and pouncing on a page when I turn it, to a graceful cat who saunters into my photoshoot space and quietly settles down like she’s doing me a favor. Our earliest photoshoots together were confusing and hectic; Gatsby was obsessed with tasseled bookmarks (I eventually stopped using them to preserve them from her wrath), would love clawing at books and creating a general mess of whatever I’d set up. The more mature Gatsby loves my attention and has realized that photoshoots end in play time, so she calmly joins me whenever she’s in the mood. Sometimes, if she’s taking a nap, I plan my photos around her, but she’s pretty sensitive to noise and wakes up quickly to sit up and look regal next to books. What makes Gatsby the perfect bookish cat? She seems to love the presence of books as much as I do. She has her own spot on my bookshelf where she likes to nap, and sometimes I find her cuddled up next to a stack of books on my desk or bed. The best moments, however, are when I’m reading and Gatsby curls up next to me. That warmth of her little body combined with a good story is all the therapy I need on some days.
So in spirit of my bookish relationship with Gatsby, I connected with some lovely Bookstagrammers to talk about their cats and how they became a part of their Bookstagram.
Read on to know more about Bookstagram’s paw-some celebrities:
Cats: Minerva, Remus, Merlin
Sarah’s cats Remus and Merlin are right at home on Bookstagram. You’ll find photos of them as they cuddle a book or are captured mid-pounce. Remus, Sarah explains, is a bit of a pro. “At first, he used to lay down on books because it was comfortable. When he noticed that I praised him or he got food immediately after taking a picture, he started posing or sitting on a book whenever he saw one. Now he's becoming a diva. He shows up, sits on a random book, waits for 20 seconds and leaves, as if he was a supermodel who gets 50k dollars just for showing up.” (Sound like someone we know?!)
Merlin, of Minerva’s litter, is a curious little creature at only 3 months old. “Merlin’s curiosity makes him investigate everything. He pounces on every setup of books and ends up making a mess.“
Meanwhile, Minerva is “above everything and doesn’t really care. She often ends up in my Instagram stories, looking bored or judging!”
It’s clear that Sarah’s cats love the camera, and that’s something the Bookstagrammer wants you to understand. “I don't force them to pose or carry them around the house to take pictures. Sometimes I'm able to take 3 cool pics a day and don't take any more for another month.”
Michelle has a refreshingly sunlit Bookstagram page. When scrolling through, it’s hard not to notice Sammy, the fluffy ginger beauty often curled up with a book or posing next to one. Some of my favorite photos are of Sammy cutely sniffing a book.
Michelle’s relationship with Sammy grew because of their shared love for photoshoots, “The reason I started including Sammy was because he always ran towards my photoshoot setup and lay down on the books. I could not get him off! He honestly loves the camera and always stays still or even poses when I whip my phone out. He's an angel to work with and he even let's me put fairy lights on him.”
A cat who loves to cooperate?! We all need a Sammy in our lives.
Julie and her precious cat Dewey are the perfect example of reading buddies. Julie shared a fun fact about the lovable ginger floof, “When my family catsits Dewey, they put out books just for him, which he invariably cuddles. It's as if books were his teddy bears.”
If that doesn’t impress, Dewey also knows how to take care of books, “He never chews or scratches them. If I set a book down, he will immediately cuddle with it. And I don't mean "lay on it." I mean full lover's hold, affectionate, CUDDLING. He never begs for food or treats, but is adamant about sniffing and snuggling the various books I bring home.”
Everyone deserves a precious friend like Dewey!
Cats: Reynolds, Willoughby
Adrienne sleeping cats often lend a special sense of calm to her Bookstagram photos. There’s actually a reason Adrienne is more keen on doing photoshoots while Reynolds and Willoughby are blissfully unaware of the fact.
Willoughby, a tortoise cat who likes to take naps in the bookshelves, tends to steal the props. Reynolds, on the other hand, is a playful cat who gets a little too feisty around books and tries to bite the book corners.
Adrienne explains, “It’s much easier when I find them already asleep on my bed and it keeps my books safe, but I love capturing their little personalities too.”
To be honest, I’d still invite Reynolds and Willoughby to my library.
Cat: Bobby (Robert)
Mathilde’s cat Bobby has come a long way since being a book-hungry kitten, “He would try to eat all the books, literally! Thankfully, he has grown out of that phase.”
For Mathilde, doing photoshoots with Bobby is a natural process that often begins with just hanging out to play. She explains, “If he decides to sit on a blanket or grass, I take advantage of the moment and snap a million pictures.” Being the true catlover that she is, Mathilde doesn’t force Bobby to pose, but she does have a useful trick that even I use with Gatsby, “He’s pretty chill and tends to pose for the camera, but having a string or some toy to wave just above the camera helps so that he looks straight into the camera.”
I still remember the day Charis adopted Babushka, the playful feline who is a regular presence on her Instagram story and posts. Babushka seems to be a sweet little cat, but like Gatsby and Reynolds (@mybookishbones) and possibly most kittens developing their hunting skills, Babushka loves biting books. As a result, Charis reports that most of the books she’s recently read have Babushka’s teeth marks on them. While some bibliophiles might feel alarmed by this, I think it can be taken as a nice way to remember the playful habits of our furry friends’ adolescent years. It’s a little bittersweet for me to watch Babushka grow as it takes me right back to Gatsby’s earliest months.
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About the Author
Sumaiyya Naseem is a bibliophile from Saudi Arabia, and while she reads a bit of everything she has a keen interest in women’s fiction and immigrant stories. She shares her literary journey on Instagram (@sumaiyya.books) and is a freelance editor specializing in narratives set in Saudi Arabia. Sumaiyya is passionate about the written word and dreams of writing her own story one day.
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