About Us

About Purple Cat Press

Ellen and Debra have been good friends for most of their lives. Ellen has always been in awe of Debra’s immense talent as an illustrator, and Debra has always admired Ellen’s way with words. So it was only natural that these two friends would team up to write and illustrate stories together.

Their books are about rescued cats, about real cats that came into their lives. As a strong advocate for animal rescue, Ellen says, “Until Ossi came to us in 2011, I had only given time and money to shelters. I wanted to do more. By telling Ossi’s and Ying’s stories, I have the opportunity to teach about responsible pet ownership and advocate for pet rescue and adoption.”

Why the name “Purple Cat Press”? It’s pretty simple. We love purple, cats, and books that are printed on presses!

Proudly Canadian

Purple Cat Press is proudly Canadian. Our books are written, illustrated, designed and printed in Canada. Like true Canadians, we’re happy to apologise – for placing craft and care before profit, and feeling good about the quality books we offer you. 

And, of course, all the felines in our stories are Canadian cats. However, they never apologise for anything they do!

About the Author

Ellen Rumsey grew up on a farm where, you guessed it, her favourite animals were the barn cats! She doesn’t live on a farm anymore, but she does have four cats at her house. The real, live Ossi in Finders Keepers is one of them.

Ellen studied Graphic Design at OCAD University and furthered her studies at Queen’s University in English Language and Literature. She has been a practicing graphic designer and wordsmith for more than 30 years.

Ellen lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her family (and, of course, her cats). She has loved and collected children’s literature her whole life – and worked on several publications for children before deciding to write her own books.

About the Illustrator

Debra Toutloff has loved drawing animals, especially cats, ever since she was a little girl. As a grown-up, not only does she still draw lots of cats, she has several feline friends. The real Ying in Bad Kitten was one of them until his death in February 2018.

Debra studied Advertising and Graphic Design at Humber College and furthered her illustration studies at OCAD University. In the past, she worked as a storyboard/studio artist and drew editorial illustrations and cartoons. Today, she illustrates using pen and paper, tablet and computer, and canvas and paint. Whenever she’s working, there is a cat supervisor nearby – or sitting on her lap “helping”!

Debra lives in Guelph, Ontario. Like Ellen, she has a cherished collection of children’s literature, too.

Purple Cat Press Gives Back

With the exception of Ossi, all of the cats in our lives are from shelters and rescues. We know how hard these organizations work to save and find forever homes for many animals, and we’d like to say thank you.

To be honest, we’d love to give a good portion of every sale to rescue, but realistically, we have bills to pay, too. What we can do instead, is give back through free author readings, educating about rescue, fundraising and donating what we can. If you’d like to arrange an author visit or would like us to be part of a fundraising event, let’s talk!