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The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  221 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The heroic quest of a single cat.

When a fire destroys her home and scatters her colony, Small Cat sets out to find the home of her ancestor, the Cat From the North, and to make her own name along the way.

Cover art by Goni Montes
ebook, 55 pages
Published 2009 by
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 02, 2014 karen rated it really liked it
at 17 "pages," this is one of the longest tor shorts i have found. being as long as it is, it also has the benefit of having several illustrations throughout, and who doesn't like pictures? like this one:

and this one:

i am a sucker for a good "epic animal adventure," particularly those involving cats. Tailchaser's Song, Rama, the Gypsy Cat, The Incredible Journey - all of these were favorites of mine when i was little, read over and over again and completely owning my wee heart.

this one definite
3.0 stars. This story (as well as this review) is for all of my fellow CAT LOVERS out there ...
...just kidding... DOG LOVERS and ANIMAL LOVERS and just plain LOVERS are all welcome as well.
Whether you love SMART cats...

Whether you love HAPPY cats...

Whether you love cats who LOVE DOGS...

OR…cats who DON’T
Whether you love cats who LOVE PEOPLE...

OR...cats who DON’T.
Whether you love COMPASSIONATE cats...

OR...PSYCHO cats with GUNS.
Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*

j, is for Johnson *snicker*

4 Stars

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles is a shortie about a kitty who goes on a grand adventure. Johnathan Swift himself (circa Gulliver’s Travels NOT A Modest Proposal) would be quite proud of Small Cat’s adventures.

The other cats had started calling her Small Cat. It wasn’t an actual name; but it was the beginning. She knew she would have a story worth telling one day.

And, boy did she EVER. Small Cat deals with an earthquake, a fire, an abduction and many othe
Liz* Fashionably Late
Apr 02, 2015 Liz* Fashionably Late rated it liked it
Shelves: tor-sweet-tor
Sweet story, beautifully illustrated.

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jul 10, 2015 Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ rated it really liked it
Shelves: animalia, fantasy
A charming, quiet tale about finding your story, set in historic Japan. Cat lovers especially should enjoy it.


"This cat was the smallest of her litter of four. Her fur had been dark when she was born, but as she grew it changed to black with speckles of gold and cinnamon and ivory, and a little gold-colored chin. Her eyes were gold, like a fox’s." I fell in love with Small Cat as soon as I read that description.

This Small Cat shares a home with many aunts and cousins. They also share their fudok
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
I loved the imagery and the story of this one, but compared to some others I've read, it was very solid, but very middle of the pack. The best part were the beautiful illustrations

and this one:



This one was about a cat, which I don't like as much as I like the canine variety of domesticated animal, who loses her home and family and begins the search for a new home and family. I enjoyed reading about the cat's travels, the people and creatures she encounters, and the way she finds what
Una racconto grazioso ambientato in Giappone che narra il viaggio di "Small Cat", una gattina senza nome costretta a abbandonare il luogo in cui aveva sempre vissuto.
Il cammino inizierà sulle tracce del fudoki della gatta, ovvero il ricordo delle gesta dei suoi memorabili antenati e la porterà a conoscere altre specie animali e gli esseri umani.
Il racconto è corredato da varie illustrazioni (lo stile di questo illustratore mi piace moltissimo) che accompagnano le avventure di Small Cat.
James Adams
Sep 28, 2016 James Adams rated it really liked it
A fable, a road trip, a tale about tales, this is a sweet story of perseverance and survival. Small Cat loses her home in a fire and travels north, finding troubles and companions in equal measure. Along the way, she realizes the importance of stories and, eventually, the meaning of home.
This is a simple story, well told. The characters are well drawn, even though most are on-screen only briefly, and the messages here are reassuring as well as true. It also makes for a good companion piece to Jo
Japan. Cats. Stories passed from one person to another. The conclusion that everybody has their own stories. Gorgeous illustrations. What's not to love?

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles reminded me a lot of Tailchaser's Song. It follows that same idea of cats having a rich cultural background. The bits of cat folklore were what I loved best about Tailchaser's Song, and this book is all about cats, their histories, and stories in general.

It's not a very long story. It's not a very action-packed
Mar 13, 2013 Antebar rated it really liked it
Un delizioso racconto che merita davvero la lettura: se amate i gatti, o comunque ne subite il fascino, non potrete non affezionarvi alla piccola Small Cat e seguirla (nel mio caso, con crescente preoccupazione!) nelle sue vicissitudini, che la vedranno alle prese con terremoti, incendi, rapimenti, lupi, orsi e orribili viaggi in barca. Tutto in nome del fudoki... more than just stories.
Jun 17, 2015 Hilary rated it really liked it
This proved to be a surprisingly charming short story. The artwork was positively gorgeous, and the writing quite flowery. It bordered on being a bit too poetic, but reeled itself in before it became overdone. Altogether a touching tale.
Such a sweet story. Basically tells you: 'get out of your comfort zone'. Definitely the mildest Kij Johnson's story I've read so far.
Jun 06, 2012 Jessie rated it it was amazing
A lovely short story about a small cat who tries to find "The North" after being separated from family.
Feb 14, 2015 Kimikimi rated it really liked it
Shelves: tor-com
I really like the Japanese flavor of this story, and the cat narrative. A good find on
Jan 12, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A lovely novelette from a cat's perspective, taking place in historic Japan. Well worth reading.
Muratcan Şimşek
If you like cats, this is a must-read.
Oct 21, 2016 JM rated it liked it
Interesting tale of a cat in pre-industrial Japan, told from the cat's point of view after her home is destroyed by an earthquake and a fire and she's forced to find a new place to live. A bit reminiscent of "Tailchaser's Song" for obvious reasons. I'm digging Kij Johnson's writing style.
May 17, 2012 Simonfletcher rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this story. It's the first I have read from Kij Johnson except for Ponies, and I enjoyed The Cat Who Walked A Thousand Miles much more out of the two. It is so clearly written, so well observed, and beautifully thought out from the eyes of a very adventurous little cat.

On thing I really love is that is is clear Kij understands cats. Little statements like how the best way to make a cat feel welcome in a strange place is to ignore it so it can explore its surroundings rang very
Oct 23, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing
Well, in the space of a few hours I just read two stories by the same author. If I'd read the Ponies one first I'd never have tried anything else by this author and gone out of my way to ignore everything they've ever done in their writing career. Instead I read the cat one first, this one here.

I'm somewhat unable to spend money at the moment for various reasons. This short story was so interesting and good I almost just blindly bought some ebook novel or short story collection to continue read
Like most coming-of-age tales, The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles involves a separation from what is familiar and a journey in which the protagonist discovers who she is and how she wants to be as an adult. Unlike most such tales, this journey is taken completely on foot, and the protagonist is a cat. The journey is arduous. Along the way the young cat contemplates what adults have told her, sifts and sorts out what is true for her, and adds her own memories and perceptions while traveling. Kij ...more
Karyn Kar Mun (Thy Evil Queen)
Set in Japan many years ago, this story began with a family of female cats living in the garden of an abandoned house, where they have all the comforts they could wish for - trees to climb, mice to hunt, streams of water, etc. These cats teach other the fudoki; the tales of their ancestors, passed down from generation to generation.

And in this little haven of a home, Small Cat was born. Under these circumstances, she lived a happy, idyllic childhood, but as with all happy idyllic things, it doe
Aug 10, 2012 Tiamat_the_red rated it really liked it
This book is lovely. I sought out Johnson's work because I'd read The Man Who Bridged the Mist and loved it. This story didn't disappoint. It had a similar dreamlike feel to it, not in that things felt unreal or absurd but like however things happened, they were happening as they should. There's drama, of course, but it feels inevitable. The phrase that keeps coming to mind is "This has all happened before and will happen again." That's probably not that helpful to potential readers so here's so ...more
Natasha Primaditta
Okay, I did gave the 4 stars because I happen to like cat and Japan is always endlessly fascinating. Oh, and because Haruki Murakami, my favourite author also happen to musing over cat.

The story follows Small Neko's journey towards the North after a large earthquake hits her tranquil garden where she lives in with her fudoki, family of cats. Living with tales derived from another cats' tales of bravery, she didn't know that she finally on her way becoming one.

I think the story itself was prett
Sep 22, 2013 Iset rated it really liked it

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles is a delightful short story for cat lovers. Small Cat, our eponymous heroine, sets out on an adventure after tragedy strikes. She questions, she doubts, she suffers hardships, and is mistreated. Along the way she never gives up, but keeps going towards her goal – whatever that may be. The historical setting sets the scene of the environment, but the plot remains firmly focused on Small Cat and her tale. The story is well written though short, and as a cat love
Amber Stone
Jul 20, 2013 Amber Stone rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what to rate this story. It's weird. I read Fudoki so long ago (Fudoki is a novel by the same author that came out in 2003) and the beginning of this is like a retelling of Fudoki only simplified for children. It's cute whereas Fudoki's beginning is heart-wrenching. Though the stories start the same and line up in a few spots again later, Small Cat and Kagaya-hime(the tortoiseshell cat from Fudoki/Small Cat) end up in very different places. It's interesting to see the very adult nov ...more
Leah Bayer
Mar 30, 2016 Leah Bayer rated it really liked it
This has been on my TBR shelf for AGES. I couldn't find a physical copy of it... obviously, because it's a short story, which I just figured out today. Good job, self.

Anyway, it's a short but beautiful tale about a cat who goes on an adventure--as the name implies. It takes place in Japan (with an unclear timeframe, seeing as how it's told by a cat) and the language is as lovely and dream-like as you'd expect from Kij Johnson. Cats + Japan is a huge winner in my book, but this was espec
Jun 02, 2014 Riayl rated it it was amazing
Ooh, I really liked this one, very lovely. Beautiful illustrations. I thought the writing was very evocative; descriptive without being unwieldy and overbearing. Especially the scene at the end as she is heading into the new town. Very vivid, full color images of what Small Cat was seeing practically exploded in my mind, like I was remembering a picture I had seen or a place I had actually been to. I need to find more little gems like this one. It made me very happy!
Kivrin Engle
Aug 08, 2015 Kivrin Engle rated it really liked it
Charming story of a journeying cat and her many adventures as she meanders through historic Japan. I read this out of my love and appreciation for Ms. Johnson's stories and novellas, and because I've been meaning to read her novel, Fudoki. The two are related, although perhaps not in the way that I'd imagined. I think that I'll enjoy the full-length novel more. In it, the protagonist is also a cat on a thousand mile journey, but she may also be a woman warrior.
Egg Head
Oct 19, 2014 Egg Head rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Egg by: goodreads
Shelves: animals
I came to read this after reading Kij Johnson's other story Ponies and this one was well much better then that one. The story was cute to see it through small cats eyes and seeing important story's of her family are to her and learning that others have there own story's to and making new one for herself. The art work in it is gorgeous as I'm sure you can tell from the cover or the other revews even.
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Kij Johnson is an American writer of fantasy. She has worked extensively in publishing: managing editor for Tor Books and Wizards of the Coast/TSR, collections editor for Dark Horse Comics, project manager working on the Microsoft Reader, and managing editor of Real Networks. She is Associate Director for the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, and serves as a fina ...more
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