After being banished to the human world of London 1920 by her jealous sister, the eldest feline princess finds purpose in what was meant to be her prison. However, Katlandia, her homeland, is falling apart without her, and it’s up to her to put things back together.
The story of KATLANDIA began quite innocently. I was living in Pasadena and adopted a handsome tabby kitten from the Pasadena Humane Society. That kitty actually in fact chose me. I named him Billy (Truth: I wanted to name him Freddy, but he telepathically messaged me emphatically wanting to be called – BILLY!)
As Billy began to explore the house, I noticed he developed a fondness for the door that led downstairs to the cellar where I had a washer and dryer. One day, after I had thrown a pile of laundry into the washer, I headed back upstairs. Billy clearly did not want to go with me, so I did what any good cat dad would do. I picked him up and trundled him upstairs.
Billy began to merrrrow constantly at the cellar door. In order to keep his yowling at minimum, I usually gave in. I had no idea what he did down there, but like clockwork he was always back in time for dinner.
One day, I followed him. Since he scampered down ahead of me, he was gone when I reached the cellar floor. I could not find him. I wondered where Billy went… Words popped in from the ether, “He must have gone to Katlandia.” It was a light bulb moment. Kat-what-ia?
Soon, visions of another realm – a world of, by, and for cats – started to dance in my mind. What does that world look like? Do cats have jobs? Live in cat cities? How would cats rule? Would they have the same foibles as humans, or would they find a way to transcend them? How would they travel between worlds?
I have always been fascinated by the artistry of Louis Wain. His anthropomorphic cats became an emotional visual touchstone for me in the development of the Katlandia story. I also have a deep reverence for all Studio Ghibli films and a great appreciation for Director Hiroyuki Morita’s work. He tells a lovely story in The Cat Returns, and in part because that story’s arc didn’t touch on the deeper aspects of cat society, I set out to explore Katlandia.
It’s been a life-long journey of more than 25 years to be able to present Katlandia from my heart to yours. Why so long you ask? Honestly – I didn’t know how to write 25 years ago, but deep down in my heart, there was this burning desire to tell Billy’s story as he told it to me. I promised him that I would. Cats keep their promises.