Animals in Literature

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Big Cat, Little Cat

Big cat was the only cat in the family – but one day, little cat arrives. The story follows the two cats through their days, months, and years until one day, the older cat has to go. And he doesn’t come back. This is a poignant story, told in black-and-white illustrations about the act of moving on.

Why use this book?

  • Addresses pet loss in a positive and realistic manor. Often the first loss children experience is that of a beloved pet. Books can provide an opportunity to discuss and deal with emotions about loss and grief in a healthy way.
  • Highlights natural cat behaviour.

Ask Your Students:

  • Go through the book again with your students stopping on pages where the cats are ‘being cats’. Ask students: what are the cats doing, and how owners can help cats express their natural behaviours. (i.e.: Cooking – ensure cats are only given appropriate cat food to eat and only water to drink, Climbing – ensure your cat has enrichment like tall scratch posts to perch on, Hunting – ensure cats are kept indoors, or, that they are supervised (leash/collar) when outside with owner, Exploring – cats love hiding in boxes, and is a form of enrichment, Dreaming – cats sleep for many hours of the day).
  • Where did the older cat ‘go’? How do you think the family felt after?
  • What do you do when you feel sad? What helps you to feel better?
  • What are some kind things you could do if you hear that a friend has lost pet?

Additional Resources Related to Book:



Elisha Cooper, 2018


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