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Downton Tabby: A Stately Home Where Fur Really Flies

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Get fed. Sleep. Repeat. These words are etched inside the day planner of every cat that ever lived.

Including the ones who reside upstairs at Downton Tabby, the litter-box filled abode at the center of Chris Kelly’s new book, which tells the story of England’s first family of cats.

Like their human foils on the hit TV show Downton Abbey (which returns Jan. 5 on PBS), the felines in residence at the stately home of Earl and Catness of Grimalkin live in a magnificent house – but they aren’t safe from scandal, car accidents or bouts of Spanish influenza.

In Downton Tabby, you’re sucked in by the drama that surrounds the lives of Lady Minxy and Matthmew Clowder and the oh-so-fur-bidden love between Lady Serval and the family’s chauf-fur.

Scattered throughout the dramatic tales (er, tails?) and kitty costumery (disclaimer: no cats were dressed during the creation of this book!) are nuggets of wisdom that all cats live by, like:

“If you absolutely must go outside, kill birds.” Or, “Never do anything for yourself that someone else can do for you.”

The ones doing all the work here are the tireless felines downstairs – most of them feral-looking and named Emma – who keep the house running behind-the-scenes. The difference between the two families of kitties at this Downton? Only one works like dogs!

The purr-fect stocking stuffer, Downton Tabby is available on