Baguette, a seemingly ordinary house cat, is a descendant of the magic Catlanteans who lived long ago in peace and happiness on the island of Catlantis. When he falls in love with the seductive alley cat Purriana, she insists Baguette accomplish a heroic feat before she’ll agree to marriage. They pay a visit to the oracle, Purriana’s great-great grandmother, who reveals to the surprised Baguette the secret of his bloodline and the special inheritance of all ginger descendants of the Catlanteans: the ability to time travel. She relates the cat-astrophe that befell Baguette’s ancestors when Catlantis was struck by storms and sank to the bottom of the Catlantic Ocean. Now Baguette must travel into the past in order to bring back the Catlantic flowers that will grant every cat nine lives. All the cats of the world have been awaiting his deed, but can Baguette, a lovesick tabby, fulfill the prophecy?
Translated from the Russian and set in modern-day Moscow, this compact, fable-like tale clearly inspired by Plato's story of the lost island of Atlantis takes readers to an ancient utopia for the feline breed: Catlantis. The classic quest narrative mixes magical elements with quotidian realism: a ginger-colored cat named Baguette wants to marry the striped Purriana, but her great-great-grandmother, an oracle, commands him to carry out a heroic feat before he can do so. She tells the couple about the isle of Catlantis and their noble heritage, then sends Baguette on a dangerous journey back in time to retrieve the Catlantic flower that will restore nine lives to every cat. Filled with wordplay ("purrenade," "Pussiedon," "meowbra-catabra"), rivalries, and evil and endearing characters human and feline alike, this lighthearted love story/adventure never languishes; Klimowski's stark black-and-white drawings pair well with the graceful text. Moving steadily along to a cleverly surprising ending, the book is an appealing read for animal lovers of all ages. Ages 8 12.