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Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  4,213 ratings  ·  629 reviews
A Finalist for the 26th Lambda Literary Award

Caroline Paul was recovering from a bad accident and thought things couldn't get worse. But then her beloved cat Tibia disappeared. She and her partner, illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, mourned his loss. Yet weeks later, Tibia waltzed back into their lives. His owners were overjoyed. But they were also...jealous? Betrayed? Where h
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  4,213 ratings  ·  629 reviews

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Bill Kerwin
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it

I love cats, but don't like cat books: the funny parts aren't that funny, the sentimental parts are way too sentimental, and the illustrations are often too cutesy for even the worst kind of children's book. I made an exception in the case of "Lost Cat," however, because: 1) it was recommended by a good friend not not given to sentimental excess, and 2) although I'm an "inside cat" man myself, I've always wanted to know where those outside kitties go in the course of their wanderings. (Boy, I wi
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this in just one sitting! Cute story and the illustrations are wonderful.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This took about an hour to read and as a potential crazy cat lady myself, I'll admit, I laughed, I cried and nodded along emphatically to pretty much everything Caroline said. The story was a bit of fun, the drawings were cute and the actual photos of GPS map tracks and kittycam footage were pretty delightful - I'm not going to lie. Overall I'm glad I won the following conversation and bought it.

Upon seeing new cat bio in store...
ME: Oooooo, I need it.
FRIEND: You don't need it.
ME: Yes, but I do.
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cats
When my cat was a teenager, two other young cats used to sit on the front lawn and wait for him to come out, then they'd all run off together. Up until he reached middle age, I'd see him from time to time around the neighborhood hanging out with other cats. Later in life he kept the perimeter of the yard, sometimes entertaining visitors and sometimes fighting. Now in his venerable age (18), he sits on the deck and ignores everyone. Sometimes he meows to be let out the back, and then he walks aro ...more
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lost Cat is a funny and heartwarming tale of the extent to which people will go where their pets are concerned. After author Caroline Paul is injured in a plane crash, she is depressed and on pain killers. She feels that things couldn't get worse until her shy and easily frightened cat, Tibby, goes missing. She is devastated but five weeks later, he saunters home none the worse for wear - if anything, he seems healthier than when he left. At first, Caroline is thrilled to have him back but then ...more
Peter Tillman
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Here's a really cool writeup of "Lost Cat" at the Atlantic:
The Secret Life of Cats: What You Can Learn by Putting a GPS on Your Kitty:

Caroline (the author): ....He [Tibia, the lost cat] was cheating on me. So Wendy and I decided to follow him using GPS.

Wendy (illustrator, and C's partner): No, *you* decided to follow him using GPS.

Caroline: Okay, true. I became obsessed with discovering his secret life. Partly this was the vast amount of painkillers I was
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This little book is the cat's meow!

CAUTION: If you are not a kitty person, this book may turn you into one! Catnip for humans! Even without the cat, I'm a sucker for tiny, quirky books and adorable pen and watercolor drawings. Around 175 pages, the book is a quick read yet just right. The reader is totally drawn into the story of Tibby, a 13-year old cat, who mysteriously disappears and then reappears five weeks later, waltzing into the bedroom late one night, fatter with "a silky coat...and a y
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book isn't what I thought it would be (based on the reviews I've read, and some preconceived notion I made up in my head, I guess). First, it has a lot more words than I expected -- having come to it via my semi-obsession with Wendy MacNaughton, I was imagining it as a picture book, more or less. Also, I thought it would be sillier. But, it's actually serious, and sweet, and sad, and heartfelt, and inspiring. Even the goofy parts also have deeper implications.

The illustrations are stunning
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Should state up front that I don't particularly like cats - to me, they're the feline equivalent of chihuahuas,* the embarrassing end result of an otherwise proud evolution. Big cats (panthera), great. But little cats (felis), not so much.

That said, however, this was a thoroughly entertaining and even (mildly) suspenseful story, with a nice balance between words and wonderful illustrations, (which as a former graphic designer, I always enjoy - hence my love of DK books). The author has a lot in
Marty Selnick
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you love a cat, might love a cat someday, or just plain like cats you will enjoy this quick easy read. Whimsical illustrations are a bonus. There are laughs, there are tears.
It's very entertaining.
A missing cat who returns has the owner try to find out where the cat has been. A hilarious and fun book.

I read this book in Dutch but I decided to write the review in English.

I think I have heard about this book before I found it at the library as the blurb seemed familiar. I just had to bring it with me from the library. It sounded hilarious. A woman gets an accident (though I am still quite confused as to what the hell happened) and we see her try to recover from several broken bones (includ
Charming, witty, and quick. Its tone is terribly funny at times; it made me laugh out loud to myself a number of times. And I love the illustrations. And my eyes got teary at one point.

The plot petered out a bit toward the end, possibly inevitably given that a cat was the engine of the whole thing, but still a book I'm recommending to all my cat lady friends.
Amy Beth
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
The author of this book was way, way too whiny. I was so annoyed with her I skimmed the second half. Most of the problem was she wasn't viewing her situation with any self-love and this got turned outward into ridiculous bouts of jealousy and obsession. The illustrations were super cute, though. ...more
CutieChuchu(っ.❛ ᴗ ❛.)っ
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Omg this book is funny and cute. Patting my kitten occasionally while reading this hehe. Actually a while ago, I'm in a panic searching for our kitty as I've already rummage the whole house but can't still find a trace of him. I found our kitty by the way, he was playing energetically at my parent's room.

I heave a sigh of relief and ponder what if he was really lost and I hadn't found him? 😭😭

Now he's at my lap asking for food haha.

However as what this book suggests, cats or any other pets are no
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
A nice and humorous book about what it means to have a cat, an animal which you can't control. It was a fun, quick read through help you Corona lockdown evenings :) ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Being a cat owner (or slave - same difference) from the past year, and having anxiety issues every time I leave my cat to go somewhere, I thought I would enjoy this book. I did, but not as much as I had hoped.

My cat, Loki, is an indoor-only cat. He came to us (my husband and me) when he was very young, and to an extent we've managed to teach him to be scared of outdoors. We don't have a yard, and it isn't feasible for us to install a cat flap in our rental apartment. But, it doesn't stop me fro
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’m a cat lover. I’m currently wearing a necklace of a cat. I have owned dozens of cats in my life, and I’m only 30.It’s painful for me to think of the thousands of dollars I spent in the last couple of years on my now deceased geriatric feline. This book was an absolute perfect fit for me (I bet you thought I was going to say purrrfect, right!?).

While not a long book, there was a whole lot of emotion and love packed into every page of Lost Cat, making this a very satisfying read. The author, Ca
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Calling all cat lovers -- Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology is at times a quirky book, but one that I think will appeal to feline fanciers everywhere. Are you one of those people who couldn't imagine your life without a cat or two or more? Do you proudly display cat fur on your dark colored clothes? Have you ever searched for a beloved cat? If you've answered yes, to even one of these questions, then I am pretty sure you'll enjoy this short book (fewer than 175 page ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn't want to be mean and give this one star because in all honesty it's not that bad of a book to deserve one star but it also is not that great. Actually, I'm wondering how this ended up being published. I thought I was going to get a quirky story about a straying cat's romps but the story was more about the hysterical owner and her overboard, pet-smothering ways.

Initially, the story reminded me of something I read/heard/watched on TV--I cannot quite remember- about a couple who had a ceram
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Book #22 Read in 2013
Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology by Caroline Paul

Caroline is a cat person. She has two sibling cats--Tibula and Fibula or Tibby and Fibby for sure. Caroline injures her leg which causes her to be couch bound and this lack of moving ability spirals her into a depression. That depression really begins to rage when Tibby, an indoor/outdoor cat, takes off to parts unknown. Caroline launches a search for him, consults pet psychics, pet detectives and
I love books about cats. Whether they are fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter. When I saw a book about a woman whose cat has gone missing, I knew I had to read it. I love my cat and I would be heartbroken if anything were to ever happen to him. I could definitely identify with most of the things the author was saying. Attaching a camera to her cat may have been a little over the top, but I can understand why she did it. I also liked that the book had lesbian characters in it. I know that w ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
While recovering from a serious accident, the author is revitalized by the search for her beloved missing cat. Lost Cat is frequently humorous and occasionally poignant, and unremittingly cute--too cute, a little frivolous, light rather than robust; it's not a novel but an illustrated story, and takes about an hour to read. That hour passes quickly: the voice is unpracticed and its humor repetitive, but it has its moments and the pacing never drags; it's predictably resonant at all the right pla ...more
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
It always seems slightly condescending to call a book "charming," but this one really was. I was looking for an undemanding, shortish bedtime read over the weekend and this off the bookshelf pretty much at random as I drifted by—I gave it to Jeff a couple of years ago, but had never read it myself. The book, by Caroline Paul, tells of her mission to discover where her beloved cat Tibby disappeared to for five weeks—and then came home well-fed, smug and sleek, with newfound kitty confidence. It’s ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
The narrator and author, Caroline, was recovering from a bad accident, healing broken bones and sinking into depression when her 13-year-old cat, Tibia, disappeared. Frantic, she searched for him, putting up posters and contacting a pet psychic. Five weeks later, he returned, happy and well-fed.
She becomes obsessed with where he was all that time, and who was feeding him. Each attempt to figure out where her cat wanders grows more outlandish, the humor added to by the many illustrations.
Cat ow
Teresa Owens
In the less than 2 hours it too me to read this little gem, I laughed out loud, I cried, and I sighed in agreement. Ostensibly about a cat that disappears for a few weeks and returns, this is actually a memoir of a woman's journey out of situational depression and into recognizing wonders in the world around her. Probably over sentimental for some, it was exactly what I was looking for.

The whimsical illustrations perfectly accent the text. Bought it as an ebook. Almost wish I had purchased it a
Oct 21, 2016 rated it liked it
When Caroline Paul’s beloved cat, Tibby, went out through the cat door and didn’t come home, she was frantic with worry. Where did he go and what was he doing? Thus began a five week search in which Caroline found more than her missing cat.

This humorous and heartwarming book will appeal to all pet owners— especially those who love cats!
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
funny - every cat owner will relate to it - great illustrations
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I love cats, especially my own kitties, which is why I plan on them outliving me. If one of them were missing, I'd be bereft, but I am a strict adherent to the indoor lifestyle for my furry friends. Because the "Lost Cat" writer's feline would frequently go outside, her situation is more interesting than dire, and if you'd like a nice story involving GPS, diametrically opposite sibling cats, and incorrect judgments about weirdos on your street, this is a pleasing one-day read. ...more
Dec 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
3.5-4 Stars

As a cat owner who had a cat "wander" off for a few weeks, it totally made me think about my cat, and wonder just where she went, who she met, what adventures she was on..... cat lovers will enjoy and the illustrations added to the story.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not the lost cat story that caught my eye - it's the author's writing style. Just the right amount of humor and self-irony. Nothing over the top. Nice read! ...more
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick -- Lost Cat 1 8 Nov 18, 2012 11:38AM  

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Caroline Paul is an American writer of fiction and nonfiction. Trained as a journalist and documentary filmmaker at Stanford University, she instead pursued a career as a firefighter, as one of the first women hired by the San Francisco Fire department. She worked most of her career on Rescue 2, where she and her crew were responsible for search and rescue in fires. Rescue 2 members were also trai ...more

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