Top Ten Sci-Fi Cats to Read instead of Homework

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  The blog hop features lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to connect with bloggers who love the books you do.


This week’s theme is a Back To School Freebie — anything “back to school”. If you’re like me, homework is not your favorite pastime, so for all the cat-loving science fiction readers out there in cyberland, here’s a list of  homework-avoiders.

Number nine

Furzel’s from Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair. Furzels are telepathic feline creatures. Sinclair has stated that these are inspired by her two cats.

Number eight

Pixel from The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert Heinlein. The book itself is subpar Heinlein, but any cat who rates being a title character is star enough to make this list. In one scene Pixel does, in fact, walk through a wall. How?   He succeeds simply because he’s too young to know that it’s impossible.

Number seven

Gummitch from various stories by Fritz Lieber. This is one of several selections that prove my weakness for classic science fiction but hey, I’m an old fart.  Imagine a kitten with an IQ of 160! They all think they’re that smart, of course, but Gummitch really is.

Number six

Sprockets from Mission to Universe by Gordon R. Dickson. Dickson was an ex-pat Canadian asthmatic who was allergic to cats. (All of which describe me, as well.  Too bad about the allergies, because I love cats!)

Dickson’s asthma that didn’t stop him from writing a great cat. Sprockets is a stowaway feral kitten who becomes spaceship mascot. He doesn’t purr. The crew believe that if he learns to purr, they’ll find success in their search for an inhabitable planet. That’s the old scientific spirit for you!

Number five

Chester from The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe.  Okay, this isn’t strictly speaking science fiction; it’s a YA fantasy.  But it’s my list, okay? Also don’t miss Howe’s Howliday Inn.  Gotta love a writer who’s unabashed about puns, right?

Number four

The Green Cat from Green Millennium by Fritz Lieber. The book may not be Lieber’s best, but the cat sure is. The human hero keeps following after the (nameless) cat because of the contentment he feels in its presence. Anyone who’s ever petted a purring pussy can relate. Unless they’re a dog person. But what are you doing reading this if you’re a dog lover?

Number three

The Barque Cats (take your pick from a shipload of cats). They’re the stars of two booksby Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough: Catalyst  and Catacombs.

Number two

The Cheshire Cat, who else? This dude’s attitude is 100% feline. If a cat could talk and smoke hookah’s, it would be exactly as aloof and supercilious as this disappearing cat.  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Number one

DoorIntoSummerPetronius the Arbiter (AKA Pete) from The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein. Daniel Boone Davis occasionally carries this smart, loving cat  in a carrying-bag and feeds him ginger ale. Dan calls him Petronius the Arbiter because Pete is a good judge of people. If Pete doesn’t like someone, Dan doesn’t. Like any self-respecting cat, Pete is, of course always right.

And that’s what I’ve come up with. I have only nine on the list, so if anyone would like to add a tenth, drop me a comment.




  1. I too am a highly allergic cat lover, but I’ve only managed to read about the Cheshire Cat and Pete from this list. Obviously I have to do better.

    Check out my list: Care to Matriculate?: Ten Top Schools of Magic & Science

    1. Becoming allergic to cats (I wasn’t always) really sucks. Why couldn’t I become allergic to gerbils, instead? That would’ve been fine.

      1. Unfortunately I became allergic as a child, which mean my cat went away while I was at my grandma’s.

  2. Oh, my! I’ve only read one of them: Alice in Wonderland. Such a unique list, though. Great thinking!

    1. A lot of these are classic science fiction, so if you aren’t into that, you’re ignorance is utterly understandable.

  3. ChrissiReads · · Reply

    Love this list 🙂 I really need to check out some of them!

    1. But .. but. … your gravatar is a bird. Won’t he be offended if you read books about cats?

  4. Great list! I haven’t read any of these yet, but you can’t go wrong with cats and sci-fi, so I’ll have to check them out 🙂

    1. That’s the best thing about TTT — learning about books you might want to read.

  5. What an original list. I love it! Chester and the Cheshire Cat are the only cats I’m familiar with at the moment, but the others sound very entertaining 🙂

    1. You know The Celery Stalks at Midnight? Cool. It’s not exactly an NYT bestseller.

  6. This is definitely the most original list I have come across this week! It definitely made me smile 🙂 I haven’t read any of these, save for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But I am going to check some of these out!

    My TTT.

    1. Do they give an award for most original list?

  7. Of course the Cheshire cat made your list! 🙂
    Check out my TTT.

    1. I’m showing my age, but I always picture the Cheshire Cat looking like the Disney cartoon version.

  8. I remember Chester. I loved the Bunnicula series. The Cheshire cat always freaked me out, but his were my favorite scenes in the Disney Classic movie.

    1. I agree about the Cheshire cat in the Disney animation — his were the most memorable scenes in the whole movie.

  9. There’s Mercedes Lackey’s S’Kitty from the Shipscat series. And the treecats from David Weber’s Honorverse.

    1. I thought about Weber’s treecats, but they aren’t very catlike IMHO. I’ll look into Lackey’s cat — thanks for the suggestion!

      1. Treecats don’t look very cat-like on the covers, but the description sounds fairly cat-ish to me, extra legs aside.

  10. What a unique and creative list. I haven’t even thought of cats in space before!

    1. I’ll agree that dogs have a better claim to be space animals, given Laika the Soviet space dog.

  11. This is such a fun list! I had no idea there were so many science-fictional cats. I’d also nominate Slag, the foul-tempered cat of Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay series. I’ve only read the first two books so far, but they’re such fun adventurous romps!

    1. I’m unfamiliar with the Ketty Jay series. It sure does get great reviews on Amazon, so I’ll have to take a look.

  12. I love cats and sci-fi, so YAAAASSS to this list! haha! So specific, yet so many books 😀 I’m definitely going to have to look for these, thanks!

    1. Cats and sci-fi make a good combination, IMHO.

  13. Diana Wynne Jones was a cat lover and she has some great ones. One of my favorites is Benvenuto from The Magicians of Caprona.

    1. Another sci-fi cat I wasn’t aware of! Thanks.

  14. Ed,

    This list was such a delight to read. I have a few new books now to check out. I too am a cat lover who is allergic to cats, but that doesn’t stop me from snuggling and petting my friends’ kittens. I had no idea there were so many sci-fi books with cats in them. Love it!

    1. I can get away with brief bits of kitty love, but nowadays the only cat I have is Effing Feline, a virtual cat who writes a weekly post on my blog.

  15. What an interesting idea for a list! My husband immediately came up with one you don’t have on the list, its from a video game, but since there is a whole series of books based on the video game world we thought it would count. In Wing Commander the enemies are the Kilrathi a feline race. And don’t forget the Kzinti of Larry Niven’s Known Space.

    1. How could I have forgotten the Kzinti? I must be getting senile. But I beg to differ with you and hubby about their genesis. The books came first by decades, starting back in the 1960s.

  16. The Kzinti and the Kilrathi are separate, the first is from Larry Niven’s books, the second from the Wing Command games/books created by Chris Roberts.

    1. Ah yes. My bad.

  17. I haven’t read any books in the series but I see some that are so interesting! 🙂 Great list!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Zeee.

  18. I can’t believe I haven’t read any of these books, being a cat lover! Sci- fi definitely isn’t my favourite genre but I will now look for these on the shelves (Cheshire Cat preferably first) 🙂 Also, I do agree we should be reading instead of doing homework. What is even the point of it?

    1. As a former student who’s glad to be no longer a student, I agree with your statement about homework. As a former teacher, I’m not quite so sure…

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