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I am looking for the title of a book in which the main character is a professor who dying of cancer. He is on a cruise and traveling when killed by a meteor. He is then reincarnated into the body of a cat-like human. It turns out that the planet is earth thousands of years in the past.

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    If you are reborn back in a time before your previous life, would that be "preincarnation?"
    – DavidW
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 2:40

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As per A book where a man inhabits the body of a dying man and befriends a telepathic cat, this is likely the Gandalara Cycle by Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron.

When the fireball hit the cruise ship, Richard Carillo was already on his way out - a terminally ill language professor. He regained consciousness as a well man in the desert... only it wasn't a desert on Earth, and he was a man only because he was still male. More surpises awaited him in the exotic city of Raithskar - he was called Markasset, a master swordsman, son of a powerful leader, and a man on the run, accused of murder and the theft of a precious, sacred jewel. With the aid of Keeshah, a great war-cat with which he shared a telepathic link, he set out to clear his newfound name...

I asked about it myself here.

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