Bethany, Nov 2004, 12.99, 432 pp.
In 1862 South Carolina, Confederate soldiers warn Missy Claire that 6000 Yankees are marching towards her plantation and arming slaves. Missy is angry and panicking as she orders her slaves but talks down to them as if they are cattle or pets, which is how she sees them. Field slave Grady informs house slave Kitty that he plans to run away and would like her, the woman he loves, to come with him to freedom. Kitty hesitates as she has lost the ability to make decisions having spent her life having her massahs tell her what to do.
As Kitty struggles whether to run off with Grady or stay with Missy, she reflects back to the early 1850s when she as a child met her young mistress. Kitty, called Anna, back then, had some kittens that Missy wanted, but her mother refused her request, saying that anything owned by a darkie was diseased. So Missy told her mom that she wants the darkie as her kitty. Since then Kitty has always done whatever her owner tells her to do, like a cat. Meow!
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner