Berkley, Nov 2002, 13.00
Half cat, Kat the Catwoman lives her fifth life amidst fifty felines. She avoids human contact as she has long memories of prejudice, poverty, and death at the hands of her so called superior side. Instead, Kat lives in a self-made haven secure from the feral mentality of humanity.
However, her Eden ends when a half cat male Angelo accidentally blunders into her mirage. Headmaster of a nearby communal high school, Angelo persuades Kat to return to reality by teaching the true history as she knows it, not that heroic rah-rah bunk found in textbooks. As she adapts to being welcomed and even popular, an incident shatters her mirage bringing back the true perspective of mankind when a child is stoned to death by his peers.
THE FIFTH LIFE OF THE CATWOMAN is a powerful allegory that looks at the dark side of humanity as prejudice and hatred defeats love in everybody's life. The message cleverly implies that nine lives may not be enough to overcome the ferocious animosity that serves as man's basic reaction to anyone outside the “norm”. Kathleen Dexter provides a potent indictment of intolerance and the need to emphasize the positive virtues of difference so that consensus leads to harmony.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner