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on 27 February 2002
Many transformations in this one: people reborn as cats, cats reborn as people, and some who have tried both and need restoration to their preferred shape.
Barwood, Lee "A Woman of Her Word" - Tarberry, after a near-death experience in a breeding mill, uses new-found talents to help his rescuer.
Bell, Claire "A Tangled Tahitian Tail" - Told by the first European to set foot on Tahiti: the ship's cat.
de Lint, Charles "Saxophone Joe and the Woman in Black" - The sax player lost his woman when he stumbled across her true name - was she really human? And did he care?
Dunn, Marylois "Teddy Cat" - Cory Johnson's allergic - to everything her stepfather doesn't want her to have: ice cream, the teddy bear he destroyed. But Cory won't let him take the idea of Teddy Bear away from her - so the wild tom that befriends her is Teddy Cat.
Fontenay, Charles L. "Cat O' Nine Tales" - Adrian is a professional writer who makes a modest living through hard work. When Diana Colfax hired him through his agent to live at her family home and write her family history, he accepted the contract. But on his arrival, the situation at Nine Tales is fishy. A young man and woman greet him, saying that the old lady recently died and no arrangements were made for a book. Angered at having packed up his life, including his cat, for a long trip, then being fobbed off with an obvious lie (his agent's got the contract, only a week old, for goodness' sake), Adrian starts poking around. (The ending is somewhat rushed, but the setup is OK.)
Griffin, P.M. "Partners" - As indicated by the title, this is another Bastet story (as in Catfantastic 2 and 5), rather than the Trouble stories of 1 and 4. The cat facing Bastet before his next reincarnation has never had a human Partner in the full sense of the term. Not that he was physically abused in his past life, far from it; he spent his life as a pedigreed Persian, in show cages and stud cages, with excellent care but no affection.
Johnston III, John E. "...But a Glove" - With every full moon, Tom becomes a cat (a wayward gift shared by some descendants of Clan Chattan). Plays the devil with one's social life...
Inks, Caralyn "Fear in Her Pocket" - Jayle is called to help a camilicat shed her old life for a new one, but the price this time comes high.
Lackey, Mercedes "A Tail of Two Skittys" - See my review of her short story collection _Werehunter_, which contains all the Skitty stories to date.
Mayhar, Ardath "Hermione as Spy" - Hermione's first job as a wizard's familiar, fresh from school.
McConchie, Lyn "Moon Scent" - Tale of the dravencat Many Kills.
McQuillin, Cynthia "Cat's World" - Cat acts as Guardian of the Old Knowledge, preserving the laboratory where his kind were designed before the rest of the world ended, because of a prophecy that their creator had once traveled into their present, her future.
Miller, Ann; Rigley, Karen "Snake Eyes" - Lori's aunt and uncle recently died in a fire, survived by their cat, Silver, and their son, Ray. (No accident that her cousin comes second in that list.) But now the auditor hired as part of the proposed sale of the family business has been killed by a hit-and-run driver...
Miller, Sasha "One Too Many Cats" - Continues the tale of young wizard Ferdon, his wife, and his familiar. Ferdon's familiar was once a woman; she's now enduring life as a cat. (She's not much help as a familiar, has a hate / hate relationship with Ferdon's wife, and is *allergic* to cats even after her transformation). Ferdon, who's now aware of the nature of her problem, persuades his wife to help him return the cat to human form. At least, that was the idea...
Norton, Andre "Noble Warrior Meets with a Ghost" - "Noble Warrior" is the translation of Thargun's full name, a Siamese sent by a grateful Princess to young Emmy, the daughter of an Englishman who saved her father's life (see all Catfantastic volumes in sequence for his complete adventures). Here a thief seizes his traveling basket in a train station.
Reyes, Raul; Waters, Elisabeth "Connecticat" - The lama's young nephew hadn't learned the discipline necessary to successfully evade all the traps along the path to rebirth. When his uncle finally locates his reincarnation, he's a LONG way from home...
Scarborough, Elizabeth Ann "The Cat Quest of Mu Mao the Magnificent" - The secret valley of Shambala is the only haven left, after the world ended in blinding light and thunder. Mu Mao, who has achieved the highest state of enlightenment (rebirth as the last cat in the world), is, alas, now subject to feline urges - and having gone to so much trouble to get In to Shambala, he must now go Out.
Straub, Mary H. "The Cat, the Wizards, and the Bedpost" - A continuation of the Flax & Drop stories from 1 & 2 (which are concluded in 4). Drop, the stray accidentally changed into a human boy, may finally return to normal: the wizard who developed the keep-shape spell has asked Flax for help in another matter.
Schimel, Lawrence "To Skein a Cat" - The lonely Fates have adopted 3 kittens - and we all know about mixing kittens with thread.
Schwartz, Susan "Asking Mr. Bigelow" - Lisa isn't a cat person - she's more of a mouse: the kind of mouse who waits in lines forever while the cats get served first. Now she's suffering from a migraine after losing yet another promotion, and someone on the street directs her to Bigelow's (an upscale drugstore). But Mr. Bigelow is a cat, and he can see what she *really* needs for her problem. If you like this, try "Cat Tale" by Vicki Ann Heydron (M.Z.Bradley's _Greyhaven_ anthology).
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on 4 November 2013
As with most story collections, some are very good and some are pretty awful. Most cat lovers would find this book a worthwhile investment.
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on 9 March 1998
Once again a delightful blend of authors have come up with tales about cats and the people who are owned by them. I always enjoy a collection of shorts and this was no exception!
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