Another fabulous cat picture book, which I saved from my grandmother's house and have pored over (haha) regularly since early childhood, is the gorgeous 'Blossom Finds A Home' by Joan Cass (1963), illustrated by William Stobbs. Using simple, flat printed blocks of colour over stylized dry-brush black and white drawings, Stobbs perfectly captured the different characters - mischievous, gracious, scruffy, pathetic, mean - and adventures of a group of cats living around the docks of a UK seaside town. I was completely fascinated by the little world he created with barges, fish and chip shops, milk bottles, fried kippers, fish skeletons, cobblestones and bits of rubbish blowing in the wind. For a long time I was unable to find out anything about this book, but there are now a few copies on Amazon (quite pricey too). Stobbs, as it turns out, was the head of design at the London School of Printing and Kindred Trades in the 1950's, and won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1959 for his work on two other books. Well, bless him! I learnt to draw cats from the Blossom book, and still find myself unintentionally drawing a Stobbs cat from time to time.
I'm no match for your claws.
Here, break my string of beads;
Give me fleas. Yawn. Take pause.
Here's a sunpatch sized for you.
Stare me down. Get coy.
Bend me to your will.
Cat, make me your toy.