No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey (1996-10-01)

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Roc Hardcover
Roc Hardcover
Roc Hardcover
Roc Hardcover
No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey (1996-10-01)

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Pros: The cat is a supporting character that helps the Prince (crowned king later in the book) navigate treacherous political waters.
Cons: Many of the names are almost impossible to pronounce, or even remember properly without directly copying them from the book.
The book actually opens with the death of the regent, who dies with a smile on his face. Why a smile? Well, he knew to the minute when he'd die and he was careful to make sure that his ward was surrounded with a council that thought more of the kingdom than their rivalries with each other (which, from what I know of politics, was a miracle) and found a slightly larger than average queen cat that was about to give birth. One of the kittens chose him (the book was very specific on that point), and he had trained the cat to be a guardian.

The moment the regent dies the cat transfers affection to the prince. She (the kitten is female) guides him through a diplomatic and peaceful solution with the neighboring king who is eyeing his kingdom (to the point of presenting the prince with three eligable maidens), one of whom the prince actually manages to fall in love with. However, the cat has to help the prince survive the attentions of his greedy in-law--the neighboring king's wife whose fist is slowly choking the life out of the neighboring kingdom. 

I won't say anymore about it; the book is pretty short--a little over a hundred pages--and I don't want to give away too much. I don't need to explain the background of the characters in question--because the book does that nicely. Everything in the story that is story-specific (predators, poisons, etc.)--is explained. It's a well crafted tale. I will tell you that the cat is not the main character of the book--and no one forgets the cat, despite the title. The cat is a pivotal element and becomes the prince's most trusted adviser. I thought that, for the most part, the depiction of the cat was accurate. 

I hope other people check this book out and enjoy it as much as I have! 


I recently found this book hanging out in my basement, almost miraculously undamaged by a flood that killed a lot of my books, and have just finished re-reading it.
Yes, it's short.  No, the cat is not the main character, but she is still absolutely essential to the resolution of the kingdom's problems.  And, incidentally, Anne McCaffrey was a wonderful storyteller.