Why had I never heard of this book before?
Well, at least I’m not alone.
A Cat is a little-known 1995 work written by Leonard Michaels and illustrated by Frances Lerner. I read the 2018 Tin House hardcover version, which I had requested by interlibrary loan — and it turned out to come from the Weston Public Library!
Michaels and Lerner tell you all you want to know about cats in 128 spare pages of prose, poetry, and visuals, usually with a single paragraph or illustration on a page. There’s even a bit of math! For example:
The illustrations, like the text, are drawn in the fewest possible strokes. All is in keeping with the spirit of the cat.