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Children's Fiction Cats

You Can't Rush a Cat

by (author) Karleen Bradford

illustrated by Leslie Elizabeth Watts

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2004
Cats, Multigenerational, Friendship
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2004
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2003
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 8


Jessica's grandfather is eager to meet the wild little cat who streaks into the house and hides in the basement, but Jessica knows that it takes great patience to woo a cat. She waits and waits and then, near the end of her visit, she sits down in the middle of the kitchen floor and puts to work all her knowledge of felines. When she goes home, her grandfather has a new friend.

About the authors

Karleen Bradford is the award-winning author of twenty-two works of fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. Her books include historical novels, fantasy and contemporary stories, as well as picture books and chapter books.

She was born in Toronto, Ontario, but spent most of her childhood years in Argentina. She returned to Canada to take a B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1959, and married James Bradford, a Foreign Service Officer with the Canadian Government. Until 1992, Karleen and her family travelled and lived in Colombia, the United States, England, the Philippines, Brazil, Germany and Puerto Rico, with two home postings in Canada. Settings for many of her books have come from these countries. She now lives back in Canada in Owen Sound, Ontario. Three children, four grandchildren, and assorted granddogs live nearby.

Karleen has taught Creative Writing and Writing for Children at Algonquin College, the Adult High School, and various community centres in Ottawa. During a posting in Germany she also taught creative writing classes and did writing workshops with children in U.S.A. Department of Defense Schools throughout the country. In 1999 she worked with students in the Taipei American School in Taiwan.

She has worked in schools across Canada through The Writers' Union of Canada and the Ontario Arts Council programs for writers in the schools and has, as well, participated in numerous Canada Council Readings programs. She toured Nova Scotia in 1984, New Brunswick in 1989, Quèbec in 1998, and Manitoba in 2005 for the TD Children's Book Week, and has worked as a Writer in Residence for the WIER (Writers in Electronic Residence) program in schools across Canada.

You can find out more about Karleen and her work at



Karleen Bradford's profile page

Leslie Elizabeth Watts has illustrated a number of acclaimed picture books, including It's Raining, It's Pouring, and On the Night of the Comet. Leslie works in egg tempera, an old technique that requires the mixing of dry pigments with egg yolk and water. She lives in Harriston, Ontario, with her daughter Emily, her son Stefan, and several pets.

Leslie Elizabeth Watts' profile page


  • Winner, SYRCA Shining Willow
  • Short-listed, CLA Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award nominee
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice
  • Commended, Blue Spruce nominee
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year

Editorial Reviews

"Young cat lovers will enjoy this book..."

CM Magazine

"...the perfect calming story to share with a young cat lover."

"Highly recommended."

Canadian Book Review Annual

"A quiet, well-told story celebrating the companionship and solace only a feline can bring."

School Library Journal

"Thoughtful children will see broad applications to this quiet lesson in patience."


Other titles by Karleen Bradford

Dear Canada: A Time for Giving: Ten Tales of Christmas

by (author) Jean Little, Sarah Ellis, Ruby Slipperjack, Carol Matas, Karleen Bradford, Susan M. Aihoshi, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Janet McNaughton & Norah McClintock

Dear Canada: With Nothing But Our Courage

The Loyalist Diary of Mary MacDonald, Johnstown, Quebec, 1783

by (author) Karleen Bradford

Dear Canada: A Country of Our Own

The Confederation Diary of Rosie Dunn, Ottawa, Province of Canada, 1866

by (author) Karleen Bradford

Dear Canada Christmas Story No. 11: Singing a Prayer

by (author) Karleen Bradford

Cher Journal : Récit de Noël : N° 11 - La prière de Julia May

by (author) Karleen Bradford

Cher Journal : Le temps des réjouissances

Dix récits de Noël

by (author) Karleen Bradford, Carol Matas, Kit Pearson, Jean Little, Janet Lunn, Sarah Ellis, Gillian Chan, Sharon Stewart & Maxine Trottier

Cher Journal : Du désespoir à la liberté

Julia May Jackson, sur le chemin de fer clandestin, de la Virginie au Canada-Ouest, 1863-1864

by (author) Karleen Bradford

Cher Journal : Noëls d'antan

Dix récits choisis

by (author) Vincent Massey Jr HS, Karleen Bradford, Carol Matas, Jean Little, Sarah Ellis, Perry Nodelman, Maxine Trottier & Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
illustrated by Colin Mayne

Dear Canada: A Desperate Road to Freedom

The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson, Virginia to Canada West, 1863-1864

by (author) Karleen Bradford

Dear Canada: A Christmas to Remember

Tales of Comfort and Joy

by (author) Perry Nodelman, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Jean Little, Sarah Ellis, Carol Matas, Maxine Trottier, Julie Lawson & Karleen Bradford

Other titles by Leslie Elizabeth Watts