The Last Free Cat by Jon Blake
272 pages (ages 8-12 (but for all))
It's future without cats - most are dead of the deadly
HN51 virus. Only the very rich can afford cats now and
they are strictly controlled - ordinary people live
in fear of catching a deadly flu from untagged cats.
Into Jade's garden walks Feela, a beautiful female cat
with no collar.
Jade has never seen a cat and is immediately transfixed
and just a little afraid. Jade and her mother have fallen
for the animal and hide it. It will change their lives forever.
She tries to keep it from her best freind Kris, but isn't
very good at concealing it and he makes friends with Feela
immediately, but curiously doesn't give them away.
The ruthless comprots (Government Child Protectors) now
rule England and what they say goes and they say no cats.
When Jade sees her Doctor with a scratch he calls in the
comprots and they raid her house. Although Feela has mysteriously
disappeared, the comprots do so much damage and are so threatening
her mother dies of a heart attack. Luckily Kris has stolen
Feela that day. Jade is devastated by the loss of her mother
and fears being taken into care.
She, Kris and Feela go on the run from social services.
They are trying to get to Ireland where cats cat still roam
free. This is a thrilling story for kids 8-12 and any age.
Curiously the second cat book I have reviewed this year,
the first being The Catkin by Nick Green, about kids learning
to be cats.
The Last Free Cat sets Kris and Jade, barely in their mid-teens,
against the whole of England and the vicious comprots. They
flee, never knowing who will betray them.. They get a ride
from a truck driver Finn, who eyes the catbox greedily and
tries to steal Feela. Kris has to fight for the cat in an
illegal street market. he wins and they steal the truck.
Then there's a boarding house where they grow suspicious
and afraid of Kris and Jade and call the comprots. Nowhere
is safe. They run again, borrowing a canal boat. But is
there no one they can trust?
The media is hunting them now and just when they think they
have nowhere to go they find allies in the Free Cats League
and discover they are not alone. This is a truly exciting
thriller with lots of twists and turns. Kris and Jade are
discovering all kinds of resources they never knew they
had to keep and protect their cat. They are living in a
vicious interfering New Labour kind of Britain where social
services and political correctness have destroyed liberty.
Can they reach the coast before the comprots catch them?
What exactly will they do to keep Feela safe, especially
now she is pregnant. Jade begins very naive, Kris perhaps
too smug, but together they learn much about themselves
and just what they are prepared to do to protect a defenceless
The Last Free Cat is one of the best young adult adventures
in a long time. Be prepared to share. Everyone will want
to read this.
© Sam North May 15th 2008
Sam is the editor of Hackwriters.com and author of 'Another
Place to Die' - the future of the next flu pandemic and
his latest novel 'Mean Tide' is now available and also the
author of the historical novel Diamonds The Rush of '72