This book is a stark contrast to coming-of-age stories like Shiloh that feature a lonely boy and a dependent, loyal dog who become fast companions. That’s because this book is about a boy and his cat. Both are fiercely independent and curious. That curiosity leads both into some scary yet exciting adventures. Author Emily Neville really captures the innocence and exhilaration of catch-as-catch-can life for the main character as well as those who cross his path. Her caricature of both cat and boy behavior is humorous and true-to-life. In addition, her romantic portrayal of New York City through the eyes of youth is magical. At the same time, one feels all the familiarity and intimacy of a small town as she weaves the chapters through landmarks like Gramercy Park and Coney Island and then back to “the neighborhood.” The matter-of-fact portrayal and acceptance of family dysfunction is refreshing in a book more than 40 years old.