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Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne McCaffrey
Cover Artist: Kathleen Lynch (based on images Roman Okopny / Stockphoto 
(background) and Levent AVCI / Shutterstock (cat))
Review by Mel Jacob
Del Rey Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345513779
Date: 07 December 2010 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Scarborough team up for a story about space traveling cats. One kitten has bonded with a human boy and communicates with him via telepathy. When all animals including cats are impounded because of fears they harbor a plague, the boy and his cat learn it is a hoax, but the captured animals remain in danger of extermination. With human allies, they plan to save the cats.

From official release/information:

Product Description: Pilot, engineer, doctoróship's cat? Since the early days of interstellar travel, the so-called Barque Cats have become essential to the well-staffed space vessel. Assisted by humansóCat Personsówith whom they share a deep and loving bond, the Barque Cats are responsible for keeping spacecraft free of vermin, for alerting crews to environmental hazards, and for acting as morale officers.

But a widespread epidemic affecting livestock on numerous planets throws the felines' future into doubt. Suddenly the galactic government announces a plan to impound and possibly destroy all exposed animals, including the Barque Cats. With the clock racing against them, a handful of very special kittens and their humans will join forces to save the Barque Cats, and quite possibly the universe as they know it, from total destruction.

(Source: Del Rey)

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