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Looking for a series of books about an old man who starts out on a yacht but something happens and he wakes up in the body of a young feline-like man.

He also has a telepathic link to a large cat that he has to convince that he did not kill the original inhabitant of the body.

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omg furries! hide the children! –  Lohoris Jul 13 at 11:17
    
@Lohoris - Did somebody say furries? 2.bp.blogspot.com/-IZB0leWC1_A/UIkasvtH06I/AAAAAAAAClI/… –  Richard Jul 14 at 23:59
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1 Answer 1

This is the Gandalara Cycle, a series of seven fantasy books written by Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron.

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Per wikipedia;

Ricardo Carillo, an aging language professor with a terminal illness, is flirting with a captivating young woman on a Mediterranean cruise ship. They both watch with wonder, and a growing horror, as a dazzlingly beautiful star quickly grows to engulf the sky and then crashes into the ship.

Ricardo awakens in a blinding hot desert, with no idea where he is and a dead man by his side.

Without knowing how or why, Ricardo finds himself inhabiting the body of a strong, healthy, young man named Markasset. Ricardo quickly learns that Markasset is wanted for murder and the theft of a precious and powerful gemstone, the Ra'ira. Ricardo has only a smattering of Markasset's memories, and no idea if he is guilty or innocent. But with the help of a giant warcat named Keeshah, with whom he shares a telepathic bond, and the beautiful illusionist, Tarani, Ricardo sets out on a quest to recover the missing gemstone and clear his new name.

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