The book I'm looking for is probably '80s or '90s. The main character (MC) is traveling between worlds with a giant, immature, blind cat from a planet he was on. On that planet, hunters go out and look for the cats and have about a 50% chance of getting a cat before a cat gets them. When the hunters improve their gear to vastly improve their odds, the cats vanish and can't be found. Now, people want the MC's cat for various reasons.

Thanks for help identifying.


1 Answer 1


This could be James H. Schmitz' story "Novice", which was later incorporated into a novel, The Universe against Her. In "Novice", a young woman, Telzey Amberdon, has a large, immature alien "cat" as a pet. (However, it is not blind.) It turns out that the cats are as intelligent as human beings, and relished the opportunity to vie with hunters as long as the kills were evenly balanced. When men started to use advanced technology to hunt with, the cats disappeared, only to reappear, threateningly, in the humans' city. The cats are also telepathic, and when Telzey acts as an intermediary between the two species, she acquires the ability to read and influence minds. The story was originally published in 1962 but has been reprinted many times.

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    This sounds correct, and I doubt there's another book that follows this plot so closely. The 2000 "Telzey Amberdon" collection by Baen looks familiar as well. My memory though has the cat unable to reach maturity, and open its eyes, only if it returns to its home planet. I'll have to get a copy and re-read it to make sure. Thank you for your answer.
    – Random
    Commented Jul 28, 2022 at 1:13
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    @Random available for free from Project Gutenberg: gutenberg.org/ebooks/30458
    – bob1
    Commented Jul 28, 2022 at 4:38
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    @Random If you're sure this answer is correct, you can accept it by clicking the checkmark on the left.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 28, 2022 at 7:12
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    Did the human hunters resort to shooting platforms (maybe mid-air?) and long range rifles? Did the proof that her "cat" was not the only remaining one involve many other "cats" appearing within the room, intimidating the officials? I don't remember that novel, but I definitely remember the scenes (maybe I read the short story). Commented Jul 28, 2022 at 14:03
  • @MichaelRichardson - the intimidation part is definitely part of Novice. I don't remember the platforms/long-range rifles.
    – bob1
    Commented Jul 28, 2022 at 22:37

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