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Catopolis
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Janet Deaver-Pack
Review by Carolyn Frank
DAW Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756405144
Date: 02 December 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Catopolis is more than a city of cats; it is the cat's world from a multiplicity of feline perspectives. All varieties of cats are represented in these short tales, from feral cats to house pets, from tomcats to purebreds, from realistic felines to fantastic creatures with magical abilities. A few dogs appear, although this cat's world is more typically filled with birds and/or mice. People in the stories run the gamut from cruel tormentors to kindly helpless or occasionally helpful senior citizens.

"Gut Feeling" by Ester Friesner is a hilarious story about the Seer cat of Catopolis. In spite of being a well-loved adopted-from-a-shelter cat, Lulu is the oracle for the city of cats. Having received her gift from the goddess Bast, she can see the future in the entrails of mice. Having run afoul of the feral tomcat, Senior Pantalones, who wants to have himself named the ruler of the cats of the city by means of a false foretelling, Lulu strives to find a way out of her situation. Delightfully bad puns abound on the way to a fabulous feline finish!

"Old Age and Sorcery" by Lee Martindale is a fantasy featuring Myrrthin, an aged feral cat taken in to a cat colony because of his magical abilities. If he can envision something, he can instantly transport it, or at least something in close proximity to it. In exchange for his tales and talents, the local warlord cat brings him into his household where he no longer needs to fend for himself. When a nasty group of young boys decide to torment the cat colony by setting fire to their living quarters, Myrrthin in spite of his ancient age has to find a way out for every cat and kitten.

"For the Birds" by Jana Panniccia is an election-day story. With mice for ballots, the cats of the city are voting between the voice for change, Churchill, and his purebred opponent, Whittington. However the birds of the city have decided to protest this election by waging a fly-in. The birds want the cats to stop hunting them and are willing to subvert the cat electoral process to make their point. In this close election, Churchill needs to decide whether winning is more important than staying true to his beliefs.

These are just a few of the remarkable seventeen stories in this diverse set of tales featuring felines. If you are a cat lover or even just a cat admirer, you will find lots of fur, lots of fun and lots of fantasy represented in this feline-based anthology.

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