WHEN JULIA CHILD arrived in Paris in 1948, she was a thirty-six-year-old newlywed, a late bloomer about to begin a journey that would transform her and forever change the way Americans eat and think about food.

Madly in love with her husband, Paul, and the sights, sounds, and tastes of her beautiful new city, she thought her happiness was complete, until the day an adorable French kitty appeared at the door. Minette came to catch mice in the kitchen, but captured Julia’s heart, igniting a passion for poussiequettes she would always identify with that magical time in Paris and the blossoming of her new life. As Paul once confided, “a cat—any cat—is necessary” to Julia’s happiness.

Filled with rare personal photos, and based on fresh anecdotes found in Julia and Paul’s letters and on the reminiscences of people her knew her best, Julia’s Cats tells the story of Julia Child’s charmed life in the company of cats, from Paris to Provence, Cambridge to California. The book follows her progress from insecure culinary novice to TV superstar and beloved American icon—and the parade of pussycats that helped put the joie in her joie de vivre.