Star Ka`at

~ 1st Novel in the Star Ka`at Series by Andre Norton

Written with Dorothy Madlee



Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1976 dustjacket ~

After Jim Evan's parents died, he was very unhappy and just wanted to be left alone. But then he met a spunky girl named Elly Mae Brown and a big black cat called Tiro. Elly was an orphan who sold people’s cast-offs to the junk dealer to buy food for herself and her bedridden Granny. And Tire was a cat . . . or was he? After seeing Tiro stare at him so intently and intelligently, and after hearing Tiro speak to him inside his head, ]im wasn’t so sure. But if Tiro wasn’t a cat, then what—or who—was he?
A mind-tingling science fiction adventure for young readers.


Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

Two intelligent, talking Ka’ats from a super-race come to earth on a strange mission. In ancient days, Ka’ats had visited earth, and some had stayed to live in peace with humans. Then the humans cruelly turned against their friends. Now Ka’ats from outer space have come back to try to rescue their cat kin.
Although the Ka’ats believe that humans are inferior, warlike beings, they form a deep attachment to two young orphans, Jim and Elly Mae. Their relationship plunges Jim and Elly Mae right into the middle of the Ka’ats dangerous rescue mission on earth!
“…a superior science fiction story…”- Publishers Weekly


Write-up from the back of the UK paperback edition ~

They weren’t ordinary cats. There was something strange about the way they looked at Jim and Elly, as if they could see inside their minds and knew exactly what they were thinking. And they could talk – by telepathic messages instead of speech.
They were the Star Ka’ats, a super-intelligent race of cats from outer space. They had come to Earth on a special mission. But when the two children crossed their path, the Star Ka’ats suddenly found their plans might have to change…


Write-ups from fans ~

Orphan boy is adopted by a stray cat which turns out to be a member of a race of intelligent aliens to rescue the descendants of an exploration party from their world. Kid strikes up a friendship with a girl his age, who is the "owner" of another Star Ka'at. When the "call" is given to bring in all the cats of the world. The kids can hear the call and become "kin" to the Ka'ats. ~ SL


Dorothy Madlee teamed up with Andre in 1976 to pen the first book in a four-book series about Ka'ats, telepathic alien star-faring cats. Washington DC during the "Cold War" with things heating up. Jim Evans orphan living with a foster family and still is depressed over the death of his parents several months ago. While hiding from his parents in an old condemned half-torn down house He meets a large black cat who he somehow knows is named Tiro. Then he meets Elly Mae Brown a young girl (my guess is that these kids were about eight) scavenging for bottles and other things to sell to help out her grandmother with whom she lived in a broken-down one-room shanty in a slum area. She is accompanied by a large, odd-looking cat named Mer.
These two cats (or Ka'ats) are scouts sent to Earth to rescue as many of their Earth cat kinfolk as they can before a possible world war that mankind seems to be heading for. Tiro and Mer have broken the prime rule of their kind by bonding with Jim and Elly May who can hear their thoughts. When Jim's foster father is recalled to military service and Elly Mae's grandmother dies, Jim and Elly Mae follow the Ka'ats to their shuttle craft and are taken to the Star Ka'ats' home world. Hope I haven't spoiled it for anyone. This is a fairly short book 118 pages with several full-page illustrations by Bernard Colonna. Easy read: I like it. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: May 1st, 1976
Ka'at scouts Tiro and Mer, on earth to rescue their four-footed kin before barbaric humans destroy the planet altogether, pick up two inconvenient charges of their own in orphaned, miserable Jim and homeless Elly. The ka'ats are at first reluctant to take responsibility for having made mind contact with the children--"the boy has taken you into his liking. . . I would say he has claimed kinship." As for Jim and Elly, who can blame them for being impressed by the inside of a feline spaceship? But their joy at being adopted as pets by a pair of cerebral ka'ats ("now that the decision was made, he was beginning to feel free. . . everything would be ever-lastingly all right from now on") leaves us feeling uneasy. In any case this pair of pontificating pussies rubs the wrong way.


Review by Publishers Weekly - March 29, 1976
A superior science fiction story features two handsome cats from an alien planet. Tiro is a big black male; Mer is a striking white female. Colonna's illustrations, as well as a well-written story, persuade the readers that these animals are indeed super creatures. On Earth, Tiro risks censure from his superiors by befriending an orphan, Jim, despite the warnings of Mer. But she, for her part, is drawn to a poor ghetto child, Elly Mae, who scrounges in alleys to find bottles and other junk she sells for a few cents---money she needs to care for her old, dying grandmother. Jim, Elly Mae and the cats form an eerie relationship as the girl finds that she and Mer communicate without language. In a suspenseful finale, the humans and the cats are transported to the feline planet, into confrontations that are satisfactorily resolved. A fine story.


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1976 by S. Brotman in School Library Journal, September
1976 by Francis J. Molson in Delap's F & SF Review, October
2020 by Judith Tarr


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

For Impy, Surely a Star Ka’at


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1976) Published by Walker, HC, 0-802-76250-6, LCCN 75036018, $6.85, 122pg ~ cover and illustrated by Bernard Colonna {Orange Cloth Boards}
  • (1976) Published by Walker, TP, 0-802-76249-2, LCCN 75036018, 122pg ~ cover and illustrated by Bernard Colonna
  • (1976) Published by Walker, HC, 0-802-76249-2, LCCN 75036018, 122pg ~ cover by unknown, illustrated by Bernard Colonna ~ Recreated for the Weekly Reader Book Club (Printed Boards with large set print)
  • (1977) Published by Blackie, HC, 0-216-90297-5, £3.25, 144pg ~ UK printing ~ cover and illustrated by Bernard Colonna
  • (1977) Published by Pocket (Archway), PB, 0-671-29840-2, $1.25, 118pg ~ cover and illustrated by Bernard Colonna ~ 4th Printing (1982) image is Hard Cover Library Binding but states that it is a Paperback on the spine.
  • (1980) Published by Black Knight, PB, 0-340-24716-9, £0.85, 144pg ~ UK printing ~ cover and illustrated by Jeremy Ford
  • (1986) Published by Minstrel Books - Simon & Schuster, TP, 0-671-60384-1, $2.50, 102pg ~ cover by Barclay Shaw
  • (2017) Published by Worldbuilders Press, DM, no ISBN, $2.99, ~ cover by Matt Forsyth


Non-English Editions ~

  • (1983) Published in Copenhagen, Denmark; by Tellerup, PB, 87-588-0052-2, 79pg ~ translation by Bjarne Skovlund ~ Danish title Telekatte [Telecat]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (1992) Published in Moscow, by The Idea, no ISBN, HC, 528pg ~ Russian title На суше и на море 1991-92 [On Land and At Sea, 1991-92] ~ Combined with numerous essays and short stories


    • "Star Ka'at" as "Cats from outer space" ~ translation by T. Ginzburg ~ illustrations by A. Grashin ~ pp. 357-395


  • (1994) Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press and Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-863-14031-3, HC, 416pg ~ cover by D. D. Avvakumov ~ Russian title Семь чудес к воскресенью [Seven wonders by Sunday]


    • "Star Ka'at Series" as "The World of Star Co'ot" ~ pp. 3-166
      • "Star Ka'at" as "Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 4-56
      • "Star Ka'at World" as "The World of Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 56-117
      • "Star Ka'ats and the Plant People" as "Star co'otes and intelligent plants" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 117-166
    • "Seven Spells to Sunday" as "Seven Wonders by Sunday" ~ translation by T. Korobkova, pp. 167-270
    • "Octagon Magic" as "The Magic House" ~ translation by M. Shamray, pp. 271-413


  • (1995) Combined with "Star Ka'at World" "Star Ka'ats and the Plant People" and "Star Ka'ats and the Winged Warriors" ~ Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press and Zelenograd, by Zelenogradskaya Books, 5-859-49054-2, HC, 320pg ~ translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ Russian title Мир звёздных ко'отов [Star Ka'at World]


    • "Star Ka'at" as "Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 3-76
    • "Star Ka'at World" as "The World of Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 76-160
    • "Star Ka'ats and the Plant People" as "Star co'otes and intelligent plants" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 160-229
    • "Star Ka'ats and the Winged Warriors" as "Star co'ots and winged warriors" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 229-318


Ukrainian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2017) Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Globe (Fanzine) ~ cover by Sandara Tang ~ Ukrainian title Прославляя Короля. Звёздные ко’оты [Praising the King. Star Co'ot] ~ Limited to 10 copies


    • "The Shadow of Albion" as "Shadow of Albion" ~ translation by O. Stepashkina, pp. 5-295
    • "Leopard in Exile" as "Leopard in exile" ~ translation by N. Nekrasova, pp. 297-566
    • "Star Ka'at" as "Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 567-608
    • "Star Ka'at World" as "The World of Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 609-657
    • "Star Ka'ats and the Plant People" as "Star co'otes and intelligent plants" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 659-699
    • "Star Ka'ats and the Winged Warriors" as "Star co'ots and winged warriors" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 701-752

View the Original contract

View the original Copyright app.

View the 2004 Russian contract ~ no publishing data at this time

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