Catalyst: A Tale of the Baroque Cats.
Baroque Cats are highly valued by their crews because they keep the vermin down in space ships and detect hazardous leaks. Each space ship has a Cat Person in charge of the vessel's cat, and Janina is the Cat Person aboard the Molly Daise, caring for and loving the Baroque Cat Chessie.
Chessie is about to deliver another litter of prized kits when she is catnapped. Janina is devastated and begins her search for the cat who has become a mainstay in her life.
Chessie, however, has been given as a gift to Jubal by his thieving con-man of a father. When Chessie's kittens are born, there is an instant bond between Jubal and Chester. They discover they can communicate telepathically--a unique situation even among the aristocratic Baroque Cats.
My favorite character? Chester! His egocentric kitty personality made me smile, time and time again. The authors did a great job giving him voice and making him charming and silly and completely endearing.
There are iridescent bugs, a manufactured plague, impoundment of animals, a strange alien cat named Pshaw-Ra, adventure, and suspense.
Another one for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge--I think it is more fantasy than science fiction even if it is set in space. Then next in the series is Catacombs, and I'm eager to continue this series about Baroque Cats (especially Chester)!
(I thought I'd scheduled this one to post on the 25th, but somehow saved it as a draft...so here it is)
Fiction. Fantasy. 2010. 256 pages.