Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book review: "Julia's Cats"

When someone mentions Julia Child’s name, I’m more likely to think of Boeuf Bourguignon or Lobster Thermidor than I am Torties, Tonkinese or Tabbies. Imagine my surprise when I discovered Julia was a bona-fide member of the Crazy Cat Lady Club!

It turns out Julia’s passion for French cuisine was equaled only by her love of cats. “A house without a cat,” Julia is quoted as saying, “is like life without sunshine.” Now that’s our kinda gal.

So it’s fitting that, on the 100th anniversary of her birth, there is a book that celebrates her other passion.

Julia’s Cats is a charming weekend read. It begins when Julia first steps foot on French soil and catalogues her life by the many “pouissequettes” (Julia’s franglicizing of the English word) that she owned.

You’re introduced to a post-war Paris where in the winter one might or might not have heat or refrigeration, but the mice were plentiful. Enter Minette, a discriminating tortie who was recruited for mouse patrol but ended up as a beloved fur-child.

Minette religiously policed the kitchen floor for fallen morsels, held court over Julia’s very first students in the Childs’ kitchen, and proudly paraded through the apartment with her prized toy – a worn Brussels sprout tied to a string.

In very short order, she had captivated the hearts of “JuPaul” (as Julia and Paul called themselves). Minette became their entre´ into the world of French felines. Wherever they went, Julia sought out a French cat to greet while Paul found them to be his new favorite subject to photograph.

“A cat – any cat – “ Paul once said, “is necessary to Julia’s satisfaction.”

Little gems are buried in this book, such as the origin of the word restaurant (no spoilers here, sorry :-) and a peek inside the inner workings of the world famous Cordon Bleu.

But every bit of this is couched within the framework of the felines who purred, pounced and playfully wound their way into the Childs’ hearts and home.

We highly recommend this book. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves both cats and cuisine.  
If this sounds like a book you might enjoy, click on the Our Store tab at the top of our blog to purchase this book through!

Julia Child: born August 15, 1912. She would have been 100 yesterday.

Disclaimer: We were given a copy of Julia's Cats to review, but were not compensated in any other way. All opinions are our own.


  1. We did not know this! It makes the Human like Julia even more than she already does! Last night she was out at a Birfday Pawty at a French Restaurant (of course, *I* was not invited ::pout:: and not kitty bag was brought home for me either), and the group drank a toast to Julia and Helen Gurley Brown, too.

    1. We get "not invited" to those kinda restaurants too. That just shows how messed up our humans' priorities are!

  2. we have been seeing this and had no idea that Julia Child was a cat lady. how very cool...... mom says she may have to get this book from the library.

  3. What an amazing lady! Mommy says she'll take a peek at the local bookstores to see if she can find it. Thanks for the review!

  4. Well of course I’m fond of cats, but cuisine?? That frightens me. It’s all foreign and posh sounding! Fish and chips anyone? lol

  5. Mom heard this was a good read...after she finishes Dog Is Co-Pilot and some other thing she is reading, she will try this one out. Hope you guys like your book, paw pats, Savannah

  6. We didn't know Julia Childs was a cat lover! This sounds like a great book!

  7. When Mommy was 10, her Mommy was very sick when she was pregnant and Mommy started to cook all the meals. When they gots cable, Mommy used to watch Julia to learn how to cook (her Mommy did not knows how)! Mommy thought Julia was incredible and wanted to be like her when she growed up (but she hated home economics in school) She remembers Julia talking about her cats (only occasionally). mommys says that is why she like Julia better than the Galloping Gourmet!

    1. Mowzers, how cool is that!?! Our mom didn't get interested in cooking till she married daddy and he's a food network addict!

  8. That is so beautiful, we also didn't realize she was such a cat lover.

  9. Dogs: Ugh! Cats??? Not interested.

    Haopee: I wanted to read the spoiler on the origins of the word restaurant. Sigh!
    *whispers* That sounds like a good book. *whispers*

    Huggies and Cheese,


  10. She was a very cool cat lady! Bone appetite!

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