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The Cat Who Came for Christmas

The Cat Who Came for Christmas

4.7 13
by Cleveland Amory

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First published in paperback by Penguin in 1988, The Cat Who Came for Christmas captured the #1 position on the New York Times bestseller list that year for twelve weeks, and, since its hardcover publication, has leaped onto the list an extraordinary five times.

Written by Cleveland Amory, self-confessed curmudgeon and dog owner, The Cat Who


First published in paperback by Penguin in 1988, The Cat Who Came for Christmas captured the #1 position on the New York Times bestseller list that year for twelve weeks, and, since its hardcover publication, has leaped onto the list an extraordinary five times.

Written by Cleveland Amory, self-confessed curmudgeon and dog owner, The Cat Who Came for Christmas is the enchanting story of Amory's encounter with a stray cat in a debris—filled alley one Christmas Eve—and their subsequent life together. Walter Anderson in Parade described The Cat Who Came for Christmas as "A classic. This extraordinary true story will touch your heart and your funny bone—all at once."

Fans of this classic tale include Walter Cronkite, Paul Harvey, Doris Day—and, of course, the more than one million Americans who have made The Cat Who Came for Christmas a perennial bestseller.

Editorial Reviews

In this seasonal story, a Scrooge-ish New Yorker rescues a hapless cat. Or it the reverse? A charming story by a beloved writer on animals.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It is fitting that the founder and head of the Fund for Animals personally rescues and takes in strays, and one incident proved to have a profound effect on him. On a snowy Christmas Eve, Amory helped capture a scrawny cat and took it to his apartment. How does a new cat-keeper train a creature accustomed to fending for itself in Manhattan's alleys? Slowly, with patience and respect. Amory offers an entertaining, if precious, re-creation of his first year with Polar Bear (his account of selecting a name takes 20 pages). One highlight is a visit to the vet where the receptionist was a cat. During this time he also housed a dog and a grounded pigeon, and consulted a cat psychologist as well. Interspersed with tales of Polar Bear are many digressions involving the author's work with animal-rescue and animal-rights organizations. Polar Bear was invited to be ship's cat on Sea Shepherd (Greenpeace), but Amory declined on behalf of the cat. Mainly for aelurophiles. (October)
Library Journal
Apparently aimed at the holiday gift trade, this is the pleasant, rambling story of a white cat rescued by Amory one Christmas Eve. Struggling to understand his feline friend, he becomes devoted to a degree that not everyone will understand. An animal rights activist, Amory shares his feelings about veterinarians, airlines, hotels, human and animal natures, and the complexities of modern life. Although amusing anecdotes abound, there is little action. Amory's intelligent, educated musings explain life as he and his cat experience it. He also includes interesting trivia on ancient feline history and celebrities who loved or hated cats. Not a necessary purchase, but most cat lovers will adore it. Carolyn I. Alexander, USACDEC Technical Information Ctr., Fort Ord, Cal.

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Contemporary American Fiction Ser.
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

Cleveland Amory (1917-1998) wrote many highly successful books about animals, including The Cat Who Came for Christmas, The Cat and the Curmudgeon, and The Best Cat Ever, as well as such widely praised works of social history as The Proper Bostonians, The Last Resorts, and Who Killed Society? He founded the Fund for Animals in 1967.

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Cat Who Came for Christmas 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crazy-Cat-LadyDG More than 1 year ago
I love the late Cleveland Amory and this is a wonderful story of how a grumpy old man can be made into a less grumpy old man by taking in a stray white kitten at Christmas. I highly recommend the entire series!
KTO12 More than 1 year ago
This book is a treasure... only found out about it recently, though it was written in 1987. Picture yourself in an easy chair, feet up, with your cat snoozing not too far away... and laughing out loud because Cleveland Amory gets it right on the nose! This is a comfort book... easy to read and relate to, with lots of historical references to felines and their notable places in history, even if that be in the folds of royal or papal robes... and the influence they had over their humans. Even if you don't have a cat, you just might enjoy the vignettes, Cleveland Amory's eloquent style of writing, and exquisite use of language. His, and the cat's as well. If you can't sleep at night, the world seems troublesome, this is your warm cup of milk, and after a few chapters you will go on to have very pleasant dreams, I believe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful book. I can not wait to read the other books in this trilogy.
-Katerina- More than 1 year ago
Story of a stray cat (Polar Bear) and the learning experiences of him & his owner. Polar Bear has policies toward people and pets that made me laugh. This book made me rethink some of the things I took for granted with my cats and rethink why - such as how cats respond to their name being called.
serviceKP More than 1 year ago
I was in Mexico, when I discovered this book and made sure to get the second and then, the third book of the trilogy. It's nice reading that touches on the philanthrapist life of Cleveland Amory, the author while giving a sort of historical fiction portrayal of his beloved rescued stray. It's the sort of book to snuggle up to for pleasant reading like All Things Bright and Beautiful, but you can put it down one night and pick up the next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was a very good book. But only some readers will like it. So if you like cats you should like this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent read for anyone, whether they've been owned by a cat or not. Insightful as to their behaviours and educational as to how they discipline you. Not just a Christmas read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book, even better litterature. Light, fun, creative. I could go on forever, but nothing beats reading it. It's a wonderful, wonderful way to relax.
harstan More than 1 year ago
THE CAT WHO CAME FOR CHRISTMAS is a reprint of one year in the life of Polar Bear the cat who adopted his biographer as his human pet. It was the night before Christmas when ¿Sergeant¿ reluctantly drafted Cleveland Amory (everyone else went home for the holidays so she was stuck with Cleveland as her assistant) to rescue a New York alley cat. They succeed, but Cleveland is forced to take the mangy creature into his Manhattan residence for the Yuletide season. Though an animal lover and activist, Cleveland hopes to quickly find a home for his temporary lodger, but soon Snow Bear¿s lure hooks Cleveland into keeping the feline as his roommate. This book tells their first year adventures in living together.

Though over fifteen year old and reprinted after the death of Mr. Amory, this nonfiction novel remains one of the best Christmas stories around. The book is clearly for feline lovers, but other pet owners and even the bah humbug I hate cat lovers will relish this delightful ageless story of the love and bond between a cat and his Homo sapiens significant other.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is probably be one of the most emtertaining books for any person who loves cat's. It's so entertaining to se a man to take so much time to write a book about his cat. I'm on my 3rd time reading it, I loved it so much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Amory manages to find a way to depict those extraodinary creatures we call cats and the amazing impact they have on those lucky humans who give them a chance. Through warmth and humor, Mr. Amory also entertains,educates,and enlightens the reader on the joys and sorrows of being an animal lover and activist.