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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  18,947 Ratings  ·  977 Reviews
These lovable cat poems were written by T. S. Eliot for his godchildren and friends in the 1930s. They have delighted generations of children since, and inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber's brilliant musical Cats . This edition includes illustrations by Nicolas Bentley.
Paperback, New Edition, 64 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by Faber and Faber (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

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Manny
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes cats and poetry
To My New Feline Friend

I know an Abyssinian
her name in French is Silicate

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)
Laurel Hicks
Someone should set this to music.
Helene Jeppesen
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a cat-lover (as I am), then this is a must-read for you! This is a charming book written in verse, and each chapter is dedicated to a different kind of cat with its own kind of personality. This just goes to show how many personalities a cat can really have and I loved it :)
dianne
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Claire Wolff
Recommended to dianne by: Micha
Shelves: cats
Reminiscent of A.A. Milne's poetry, with fun imagery helped along by Edward Gorey's illustrations.
i tried to prolong each page, only letting myself read one cat a day.

Poor Tim, my love, i torture you
with all my silly rhymes...
He's patient, though it has to stop,
we've lived through harder times.

odd rules of friending a cat
"don't speak til spoken to"
quite unpredictable at that
this book i'm thumbing through

dear Eliot, i love your rhymes
in couplets or in sequence.
there's much i learn
each page i t
...more
Mitticus
Reto 10: Libro con un gato en la portada.

En verso juguetón , irónico, fantasioso, paródico e ingenioso T.S. Eliot traza una descripción de felinos disque domésticos. Dicen que tal vez se referia a ciertos personajes de su tiempo, tal vez a nosotros mismos, y hasta que hacia referencias a las creaciones de Kipling y Conan Doyle. Y , sin duda, que le debe ahora el ser mucho más conocido al musical de Lloyd Weber.
Pero, sea como sea, arranca reconocimiento a cualquier conocedor de gatos -amante o n
...more
نرگس پورمحمدیان رودسری
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to نرگس by: Narges Moini
خب این جذاب ترین کتاب غیرجدی از یه نویسندۀ جدی بود. کلی شخصیت داده بود به گربه ها که همه شون قابل تصور بودن. و از همین جا هزاران بوس به کادودهنده ش.

من ترجمه فارسیش رو دارم به اسم «گربه های اهل عمل» از جواد دانشآرا، نشر نیلوفر. به غایت ترجمه بد و مزخرفیه. شانس آوردم دوزبانه بود و انگلیسیش رو خوندم فقط. :)) اگه می خوای شعر وزن و قافیه داشته باشه، حداقل وزن و قافیه بلد باش. بعد حداقل کلمه هات یه کم هماهنگی داشته باشن. شما این رو به عنوان نمونه ببینید:

so for old Gumbie cat let us now give three che
...more
Petergiaquinta
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
So, I'm really more of a dog guy, and I don't know if that's the reason or if it was the horribly ridiculous musical or what, but despite considering T.S. Eliot as one of my favorite poets during my college days and despite owning a copy of this book for at least fifteen years, I'd never read these poems until today.

I'm curious what motivated Eliot to write these funny and clever little ditties for kitties--the writer feels more like Edward Lear than the elusive, erudite author of "The Hollow Me
...more
Teresa Proença
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-eua, 5e, g-poesia
Gosto de poesia; gosto de gatos. Adorei este livro.
Mas, se não gostasse de poesia nem de gatos, de certeza que, mesmo assim, adoraria este livro.
Durante cerca de meia hora, pespegou-se-me um sorriso nos lábios que, periodicamente, desaparecia para ser trocado por uma gargalhada...
Quer os poemas, quer as ilustrações são lindos e divertidos e, embora T. S. Eliot os tivesse escrito para crianças, qualquer adulto se enternecerá com eles.
Um livro que recomendo a quem gosta de gatos e não só...

"Há nes
...more
Jonfaith
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetshere
Something in my imagination has been restless. I have craved world building, esoteric codes, political machinations, something to offset the Bob Corkers of my mind. Treading along in endless bureaucracy with handymen and adjusters, I long for the Epic.

My wife and I have been rewatching every episode of Game of Thrones for the last two weeks or so. I am enjoying it much more when the narrative is compacted. I reflect on Delbruck and Braudel while listening to Tyrion.

I read a story by Scott Lync
...more
Hussam H Aql
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ديوان لطيف جدا :D
..لمحبي القطط
Kwoomac
This book was on my Recommendations book shelf, I hope because I'm a huge fan of Edward Gorey, not a crazy cat lady. Unfortunately for me, my library didn't have the edition that Gorey illustrated. So, I read this one. Actually, the illustrations were the only thing I enjoyed about the book. I felt like Eliot was trying too hard to be clever with the names and none of them worked for me. Cap'n Wussenfuss, now that would've been a good name but he didn't come up with that name, I did. They have n ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, own
Absolutely light-hearted and charming! I think I loved it so much because I could sing along to MaCavity and Rum Tum Tugger as often as I wished; I just didn't turn the page! These cats will give joy to so many for generations. All ages can smile at these rambunctious antics.
Leslie
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, nobel-winner
I had always thought of T.S. Eliot as a difficult and gloomy poet, so these poems were a revelation! Such light-hearted fun which really benefits from being read aloud & the Edward Gorey illustrations were marvelous too.
Serena.. Sery-ously?
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, eng-2018
Roberto Senesi ha fatto un miracolo, con la sua traduzione!

(In originale è stupendo, in italiano è incredibile!)
Coos Burton
Encontré el libro hace muy poco y no lo pensé dos veces, ya se me había escapado en una ocasión y no planeaba que me sucediera otra vez. Se trata de una hermosa colección de poemas sobre gatos con personalidades muy peculiares. Cada texto está acompañado por el lóbrego arte de Edward Gorey, y este fue el empuje que más me impulsó a comprar este libro, ya que es uno de mis artistas favoritos. Y por supuesto, siendo yo una cat lover sentí que no podía perdérmelo. Realmente lo disfruté muchísimo, e ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Sep 19, 2012 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cats
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Cats
[Just like a BUMbersticker:]

Like this Review if you like cats but hate Cats (and can tell the dIFFérance).



the ReVue:
T.S. Elliot poetry about cats.

Edward Gorey drawings about cats.

Cats doing what cats do.

A winning trilogy of characters, that.
Connie
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, animals
I read this years ago before I saw the musical "Cats". The book is charming and funny, and really captures the personalities of the cats. It's a wonderful little book!
Adriana Scarpin
Macavity - The Mystery Cat

Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw--
For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there's no on like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!
You may seek him in the bas
...more
Florence Liu
Looking at the reviews of this book, I'm slightly ashamed to say that the only reason I read this collection of poetry was because of a musical. It's not because I wanted to read more of T.S. Eliot's amazing work, it's because I watched Cats. I am an Andrew Lloyd Webber junkie. It all started when I watched The Phantom of the Opera, and things just got worse when I watched cats. That being said, Andrew Lloyd Webber is also responsible for some of the books that are on my to-read list - this bein ...more
Tweedledum
Schrödinger's cat

Schrödinger's cat's a mystery cat, he illustrates the laws;
The complicated things he does have no apparent cause;
He baffles the determinist, and drives him to despair
For when they try to pin him down--the quantum cat's not there!

Schrödinger's cat's a mystery cat, he's given to random decisions;
His mass is slightly altered by a cloud of virtual kittens;
The vacuum fluctuations print his traces in the air
But if you try to find him, the quantum cat's not there!

Schrödinger's ca
...more
Книжни Криле
Познавам хора, които не харесват особено Т. С. Елиът, познавам и хора, които не си падат по котки... Но не мога да си представя кой не би се прехласнал по "Популярна книга за Котките от Стария опосум"! А двама човека, които са се прехласнали по нея и то не на шега са Стефан Радев и Иван Брегов. Именно те се заемат с предизвикателството тази книга да стигне до нас, и то вероятно във възможно най-красивата си и пълна форма! Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле:

https://knijnikrile.wordpress.com/201...
Davie Bennett
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little-known fact, this book of children's poetry by T.S. Eliot was the inspiration for the cringe-worthy Broadway musical, "Cats." Many of the poems are the lyrics, verbatim, for the show. But if you, like so many others, are revulsed or terrified by the thought of those cavorting, feline freaks on stage, well, just try and put it out of your mind. These are fun poems for kids, and would make great bedtime reading! Unless you are a dog family, in which case you should probably go with "Clifford ...more
Annette
Dedicate this to my furbaby, Annushka.

 photo image_zpsrrtckgsl.jpeg
Philip Dodd
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot a pleasant, pleasurable book to read. A book of light verse about cats. Not the kind of book I would normally read but I was drawn to it by the name of its author. Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot is one of my favourite poems. I came to like The Waste Land, too, once I came to understand the spiritual state in which it was written. I enjoyed listening to T.S. Eliot reading Macavity: The Mystery Cat, one of the best poems from Old Possum's Book ...more
Vanja Petrović
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Najbolja knjiga ikada!

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Pl
...more
Quo
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long before Andrew Lloyd Webber's fabled musical, I read Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats to my sons and to one of them just after he was born, though I suspect the readings have had no lasting impact of them. These feline tales by Mr. Eliot stand as an interesting counterpoint to The Wasteland and Eliot's more serious musings and they have a kind of enduring charm for me, though they may seem rather dated & even ufunny to many others.

I am reminded of Fernando Pessoa's comment that withi
...more
Jacqueline
Да ти се прииска да си котка. Целият си достойнство, класа, изящество- идва ти отвътре. Животът ти- или в баронмюнхаузенски стил, или синоним на охолство и домашен лукс. Т.е. никога не е скучно.
Да не говорим пък с каква грация и вкус си го живеят.

Фантастичен T.S. Eliot. Усмихна ме.

description


***
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or chеrish his pride?

***
When you notice a c
...more
Chana
Purrrr-fect!

It is more rhyming than poetry, kind of an early Dr. Suess or Shel Silverstein; funny rhymes that people can laugh about. And it is about cats, what could be better? I was charmed by the use of language, the creative rhyming and the cats themselves.

From "The Old Gumbie Cat"

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun
And when all the family's in bed and asleep,
She slips down the stairs to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned w
...more
Catriona
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: december
This is a whimsical book full of adventure and fun
With cats playing and sleeping and those who even run
I think it was the best book ever, but
I laughed so hard I almost busted a gut!
Nothing is better, not even in the slightest
Read it again? I sure mightest!
With the magic Mr. Mistoffelees, so quiet and sly
Quite the mysterious guy.
Or
* Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity
He’s broken human law, he defies the law of gravity*
I recommend this book to you all,
Though the stories are quite tal
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
"Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste--
He's sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he's finished, licks his paws
So's not to waste the onion sauce.)"

: )

Very cute and pleasant.
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3,277 followers
Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more
More about T.S. Eliot

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“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
67 likes
“The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
46 likes
More quotes…