by Jon Blake
Hodder ISBN: 978-0-340-94474-8
• Sam Hawksmoor review
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 itsn't very good at it and he makes friends with Feela immediately, but 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. Now Jade, Kris and Feela are 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 recently, 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.