Catacombs: A Tale of the Barque Cats – Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Scarborough

The Barque Cats are introduced in the first book of the series, Catalyst.  They are full-fledged members of space ships and share a bond with their Cat Persons.  As the story progresses, a mysterious cat, Pshw-Ra appears on the scene and the cat Chester and his boy Jubal learn to exchange thoughts.

As book two opens Pshaw-Ra is helping the Barque Cats escape from the galactic government.  He takes them to Mau, his home planet where cats are worshiped by their human servants.  The birthrate has been declining steadily and Pshaw-Ra secretly plans to mate the Barque Cats with the Mau cats to infuse new genes into his fellow felines and to create a race of super-cats that can rule the galaxy.  But of course, no plan runs smoothly.  While Pshaw-Ra was gone his mate, the queen, died.  His spoiled brat and rather stupid daughter, Nefure, is now queen. She has managed to overthrow the rightful queen, Pshaw-Ra’s other daughter, Renpet, who is now running for her life.  Renpet and Chione her Cat Person are hiding in the catacombs beneath the city and surrounding desert.

As expected, Jubal and Chester blunder into the middle of things and also take refuge in the catacombs.     They befriend Rempet and Chione, discover mysteries of the Mauan civilization, and, oh yes….they fight and blind the monster serpent, rendering it harmless.  At least they think it’s harmless.

It is clear that the authors are well acquainted with the wonderful ways of cats.  These are not humans dressed in fur coats.  Although they are quite intelligent, these are still cats with all of their annoying and endearing habits.  The book is great fun and will appeal to cat lovers of all ages.

NetGalley Review   Publication date 1.10.12

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