So this is the Big Book of Cats.
When Harriet the Spy came out in 1996, it ignited a composition notebook obsession in me. I carried around a few “spy” notebooks in which I mostly verbally detailed all the cars driving by my front porch, but this baby was my masterwork.
The Big Book of Cats is a sort of encyclopedia of anthropomorphic cat girls. Yup. 10 year old Michelle felt the need to draw over 50 different cat girls and list a bizarre survey of personal information about them–name, age, eye color, fur and hair color, home state, and even their paw prints. Kids are so fucking weird.
As I was making this masterpiece, it was my pride and joy. I carried it around and worked on it at school and in public and would show it off to anyone who would listen. As I grew older, I became ashamed for a variety of reasons:
1. This shit is just weird.
2. Furries? Really?
3. The drawings are awful. Any artists out there will understand. We are our biggest critics. Even when I was 14 and moved on to drawing equally terrible anime drawings, looking back 4 years to my 10 year old doodles embarrassed me on a purely talent-related level.
Although I tried to hide the book very deeply in the junk piles of my childhood bedroom, I couldn’t bare to actually part with it. I knew one day I would be able to look back and enjoy the hilarity and besides that–I actually finished this thing. All 200 pages! For me, a chronic procrastinator and lazy bum, that is incredible. To this day, The Big Book of Cats is one of the only illustration projects I’ve ever seen to completion.
I couldn’t work up the nerve to pull out this book and laugh about it with friends for a very long time, but I would occasionally flip through and doodle the characters in whatever my current drawing style was. I always thought that was fun and interesting, so I’m making a vow right now to honor this horrific piece of literature and redraw every cat girl and post a new drawing along with the original for the internet’s amusement.
First of all, can we just talk about the opening spread?
I have to ID myself just in case its ever lost, someone will know exactly where to return it THANK GOD. Not “Class Program”, it’s “CAT Program”! So witty, you guys. I made sure to copyright it and keep it super official, but I did change my mind and decide not to do a series of chapters. There’s also a taste of all the creative names of the cat girls you’re about to meet–in their personal handwriting, of course. AND SO MUCH MORE!
Are y’all ready for this? I simultaneously apologize and say YOU’RE WELCOME for what you’re about to see unfold.