The Cat's Eye Tarot has a lovely, fresh, uncluttered feel to it, with a subtle realism to the artwork. Debra has also taken great care to depict the same color combinations throughout each suit, such as all oranges and yellows for the Wands, and all plush pinks and reds for the Cups. The same kind of cat graces each suit as well: red tabbies for the Wands, Siamese cats for the Swords , brown tabbies for Pentacles and black and white cats for Cups. These are clever choices, as anybody who knows these different types of cats will tell you. Siamese cats, for instance, are known for being vocal and talkative, whereas red tabbies, or ginger cats, are often more assertive, larger, and independent. These nuances make the Cat's Eye Tarot brilliant for any beginner to read with, as they aren’t esoteric or occult, but rather express the nature of each suit simply.
The deck comes with a lovely spread to try: the Nine Lives Tarot spread. It's fun, insightful and charming, just like the Cat's Eye Tarot itself. Overall, the Cat's Eye Tarot is very cute, clear and easy to read, with brilliant Minor Arcana in particular that make it a great deck for beginners but also a wonderful addition to any experienced reader's collection.
The Major Arcana are quite clever, in that sometimes the cards feature the traditional symbolism, but hidden in the card in a way that is in context for the deck’s theme. In The Hierophant, for instance, a big ginger tomcat stands proudly on a desk in a study filled with books. Veterinary textbooks sit in a pile on the desk, along with a computer and a set of keys -- the keys found originally in the traditional Hierophant image. This is an innovative, modern and accessible way of expressing the card's meanings of learning from authority, or received wisdom: the veterinary student's cat. The Devil is another example of the card meanings made applicable not only to cats but to the modern world: an obese cat eating yet more food that he doesn't need.
The strength of this deck really lies in its Minor Arcana, which are not only extremely easy to read, but also express the feline point of view of the card meanings without making them obscure. They're also extremely cute, in places funny, at times sad and tear-inducing (particularly for us "cat people"!) and beautiful. The traditional card meanings are innovatively illustrated, which means that the Cat's Eye Tarot is a good deck for more advanced readers to look at and use to shake themselves out of old, tired reading habits or to gain new perspectives and insights into the cards.
-- The Tarot Review
If you have ever shared your life with one cat or many, you already know just how individualistic they are. Much like people (some would say more like women than men) they each have their own, very distinguishable personalities. But, unlike their human counterparts, they are more straightforward with showing you who they really are. However, you don’t need to be a "cat lover" necessarily to connect with and use the Cat's Eye Tarot.
I found the Cat's Eye Tarot to be quite engaging, playful, and very much to the point when it was called for. Cat's have a language all their own, and yet, it can be easily understood. They have as many diverse personalities as any group of "humans" and that is evident in each and every cat that is depicted on every card.
No longer skeptical about a cat themed working deck, I would recommend this one not only to cat lovers, but also to Tarot enthusiasts of all experience levels.
-- Koneta Bailey, on New Paths Tarot
Debra Givin refers to her deck as "uncluttered" in the LWB and I completely agree. The illustrations on the cards are artistic, but they capture the essence of cat behavior extremely well. We have cats in many various poses -- hiding, playing, and resting -- and many in which they're just being themselves. One of the reasons I like the images so much is that they speak for themselves; there are very few "symbols" on the card in addition to the animals, and that makes for a clarity that I rarely see in a tarot deck. You'll see a few nods to standard RWS imagery here and there -- the Empress is present with her kittens, and the Wheel of Fortune has a wagon wheel -- but overall the cards are uncomplicated.
Cats are not the only animals on the cards, though. While felines rule the majors, each one of the suits was selected with a particular animal and cat color to enhance the meanings. Pentacles cards have brown tabbies, for example, and feature mice as the preferred prey item. Swords, on the other hand, reinforce the air element and are represented by the talkative Siamese cats, and show birds as well as the cats. Suits have the standard associated for RWS decks.
Givin explains that she includes the keywords from Joan Bunning's Learning the Tarot. A short explanation of the image and some examples of what each card might mean in a reading are a part of the LWB as well. There is also one tarot spread listed, the Nine Lives Spread, based on the old cat proverb, "A cat has nine lives, 3 he plays, 3 he strays, and 3 he stays."
I also like that these cats are for the most part adult cats, and not kittens. OK, OK ... I'll be the first to admit that I love cute kittens, but the fact that these are adult cats gives the deck a maturity that it wouldn't have had with playful kittens on every card. I'm sure I wouldn't have been as fond of the deck, either.
My obvious bias toward cats aside, this is a great to give to a tarot beginner. I'm really fond of the images and their simple yet powerful tone, and combining it with Joan Bunning's meanings and only one spread was a stroke of genius. This would also make a great gift for the ailurophiles in your life -- even non-tarot people would enjoy these beautiful images of cats.
-- Rev. John Marani, ATA Quarterly
There are several cat themed decks out there but this one is truly special, not only does it follow the Rider-Waite style, each card tells a story from a very unique perspective ... A cats! What better way to see the world than through the eyes of a beloved cat. Debra, a practicing vet for 22 years, exclusively in feline practice, she has absolutely captured the essence of cats in this deck and with each card there is no doubt as to what is going through these glorious kitties' minds.
This deck is simply perfect in size and works great for those with smaller hands as it's not too wide to shuffle and handle properly and it has an amazing glossy lamination. I'm big on the art of the card backs and have been known to choose decks in part by the wonderful imagery on the backs and this deck does not disappoint. It features a brown long-haired tabby with mesmerizing green eyes that nearly fills the whole card save one thin border of white.
The Major Arcana are graced with cats of white, calico, ginger and tabby, black and siamese all lovingly painted in scenes of blue and plum tones that make these little kitties pop right out of the cards. I always look for a select few cards when considering a deck and the Star is among one of them. I love the way that Debra has portrayed a little calico gently reaching out to the reflection of a star in chilly stream and it brings to mind the phrase "reach for the stars" what a great way to get the meaning of hope across.
The Minor Arcana are just as charming with the suit of Wands picturing fiery ginger cats, the suit of Cups showing wonderful jellicle kitties, the suit of Swords featuring the talkative siamese and the suit of Pentacles with it's tabby striped beauties. Also featured alongside these fabulous felines in the Minor Arcana are fish, reptiles, birds and mice.
I had the best time while working with this deck, I found that it reads very well and I had no problems getting clear and concise messages, just like ones I receive from any cat when he/she is letting me know how it is! I may not recommend it as a beginner's deck, however, I think that a basic knowledge of the Rider-Waite symbolism would be helpful but this is truly a deck for anyone who loves and shares their life with cats.
-- Liz Christy, on Lizzie's Logic