The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles by Kij Johnston

book cover of The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles

Such a wonderful moving story. Set in Japan only shortly after cats were first introduced there, the narrative follows Small Cat. She's grown up as part of a peaceful cat colony in Tokyo, on the grounds of an abandoned old house, where she's been immersed in their fudoki, the stories about their ancestors and forebears in the colony.

One day they're struck by an earthquake, followed by a fire, and the colony is destroyed. Small Cat sets out on an epic journey across Japan, trying to find other cats with whom she will belong. With the importance it places on telling stories about our pasts and those who came before us, I found this story incredibly touching, and Small Cat's adventures are suspenseful enough, as well. I feel like this would be a good story book to read to children, despite it not being specifically a children's story. Being short and freely available on Tor.com, I feel like there's no good reason for anyone not to read this.


a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.