Animals in Literature

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Hate That Cat

Jack doesn’t like cats. Though, much like poetry the more Jack becomes familiar with cats the more he grows to like them. This novel is a sequel to Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog, and is a perfect addition to any poetry unit.

Why use this book?

  • Highlights the strong connection and relationships people have with animals, known as the human-animal bond.
  • Addresses lost pets and what people should do when their pet goes missing.

Animal Welfare Considerations:

  • Jack receives his cat as a Christmas gift. As pets are a big responsibility, its best if the future pet owner has a say in if they even want a pet, what kind of pet, and they are committed to providing care for the lifetime of the pet.
  • The cats drink milk in the novel. While this is a common occurrence in literature and movies, in reality, many adult cats are lactose intolerant and although they will drink the milk it can cause stomach upset. Cats do best if they are provided with clean fresh water. Encourage students to look for the perpetuation of this myth in other media.

Ask Your Students:

  • Why do you think Jack does not want to write any more poems about his dog, Sky?
  • Why do you think Jack dislikes cats? Jack had some negative experiences with cats (i.e., the black cat scratching him). Do you think it’s reasonable for Jack to not like cats because of his experience with just one cat? Have you ever had a negative experience with an animal? How did you overcome it?
  • How do you think Jack and his family felt when Skitter McKitter ran away? What should you do if you ever lose a pet? Contact municipal or county animal service or bylaw department, visit the pound in person at least every two days, contact the veterinarians in your area, and, if possible, leave a poster with your animal’s photo and your telephone number.
  • When Skitter McKitter returns, the black fat cat starts hanging around Jack’s house. What would you do if a stray cat starts to hang around your house? Check for identification, contact your local animal agency.


  • Animals naturally lend themselves to fun and engaging poetry using styles such as alliteration and onomatopoeia. Have students write two animal poems, one focusing on alliteration, and one focusing on onomatopoeia, like Jack does in the novel!
  • The more familiar Jack becomes with cats the more he likes them. Have students pick an animal they are not fond of, to research. Students can create a poster highlighting what they learned about the animal to display in the classroom. Encourage students to include why the animal matters!

Additional Resources Related to Book:

  • For additional information on what to do if you discover your pet is missing, visit the Alberta SPCA website.
  • For additional information on cat overpopulation in Canada visit the Humane Canada website.


Sharon Creech, 2010


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