Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats

Front Cover
Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 2010 - Fiction - 256 pages
Pilot, navigator, engineer, doctor, scientist—ship's cat? All are essential to the well-staffed space vessel. Since the early days of interstellar travel, when Tuxedo Thomas, a Maine coon cat, showed what a cat could do for a ship and its crew, the so-called Barque Cats have become highly prized crew members. Thomas's carefully bred progeny, ably assisted by humans—Cat Persons—with whom they share a deep and loving bond, now travel the galaxy, responsible for keeping spacecraft free of vermin, for alerting human crews to potential environmental hazards, and for acting as morale officers.

Even among Barque Cats, Chessie is something special. Her pedigree, skills, and intelligence, as well as the close rapport she has with her human, Janina, make her the most valuable crew member aboard the Molly Daise. And the litter of kittens in her belly only adds to her value.

Then the unthinkable happens. Chessie is kidnapped—er, catnapped—from Dr. Jared Vlast's vet clinic at Hood Station by a grizzled spacer named Carl Poindexter. But Chessie's newborn kittens turn out to be even more extraordinary than their mother. For while Chessie's connection to Janina is close and intuitive, the bond that the kitten Chester forms with Carl's son, Jubal, is downright telepathic. And when Chester is sent into space to learn his trade, neither he nor Jubal will rest until they're reunited.

But the announcement of a widespread epidemic affecting livestock on numerous planets throws their future into doubt. Suddenly the galactic government announces a plan to impound and possibly destroy all exposed animals. Not even the Barque Cats will be spared.

With the clock racing against them, Janina, Jubal, Dr. Vlast, and a handful of very special kittens will join forces with the mysterious Pshaw-Ra—an alien-looking cat with a hidden agenda—to save the Barque Cats, other animals, and quite possibly the universe as they know it from total destruction.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shaunesay - www.librarything.com

I have to agree with previous reviews on this one, it seems somewhat juvenile when compared to other Anne McCaffrey works. I was really hoping for more being the cat lover that I am. That said, it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LibraryCin - www.librarything.com

This book encompasses all of: universal domination, catnapping, telepathy, space travel, disease... When Janina's valuable pregnant kitty Chessie, trained in helping out on space ships... as will be ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
17
Section 3
26
Section 4
35
Section 5
44
Section 6
56
Section 7
71
Section 8
77
Section 16
156
Section 17
167
Section 18
177
Section 19
185
Section 20
193
Section 21
204
Section 22
215
Section 23
226

Section 9
86
Section 10
93
Section 11
102
Section 12
110
Section 13
118
Section 14
129
Section 15
149
Section 24
234
Section 25
241
Section 26
246
Section 27
251
Section 28
259
Section 29
261
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Anne McCaffrey, the Hugo Award-winning author of the bestselling Dragonriders of Pern novels, is one of science fiction's most popular authors. She lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, winner of the Nebula Award for her novel The Healer's War, is the author of numerous fantasy novels. She has co-authored ten other novels with Anne McCaffrey. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

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