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This Week in Cats: November 13, 2016

Sebastian, an orange housecat, understands his life. He enjoys his patch of sunlight. He protects his humans and their children. And he loves Sheeba, the beautiful dog who lives next door. So when a super-intelligent Queen Ant gives all animals sentience (and fingers), igniting a vicious war between the species, Sebastian—who has renamed himself Mort(e)—wants nothing more than to find his friend. No matter how many people he has to kill to do it.

Robert Repino’s novel Mort(e) is fascinating: what would happen if our pets gained awareness and realized that we have kept them prisoner all these years (and castrated them)? The answer is brutal—humans are only the dominant species because we have good brains and nice thumbs. Once animals have those, we drop down the food chain.

Mort(e) is not for the faint of heart, though. Sebastian is not cuddly; he turns out to be a vicious killer. (And a big one: the Queen Ant gives all of the newly-sentient animals extra height, so the book’s protagonist is a six-foot-tall cat with hands.) But it’s a fascinating consideration of free will and, most importantly, love.

Repino’s follow-up novel, Culdesac focuses on a secondary character in Mort(e) and continues—according to the jacket copy—to explore the animal/human “war with no name.” It comes out on November 15th, and if it is anything like Mort(e), I would recommend it.

Just don't tell your cats about it. You don't want them getting ideas. Or thumbs.

This Week in Cats is a weekly (more or less) post about all things cat-related. The nature of what “related” means in this context will be determined by Sam T. Cat and his plucky sidekick, Josie Kafka. The nature of what “cat” means is unknowable to human brains; all we can do is read, hope for enlightenment, and provide more boxes for them to play with.

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