Shadow is the unofficial leader of the tribe of cats who live in old Joseph's house. They roam around, eat and sleep in blissful peace, but their wonderful existence can't last forever. The first sign of change? A new dog appears: old, tired Tess, a retired greyhound with a motherly attitude. Ruby, a dog-distrusting cat, is unimpressed. They already have to deal with 'him' in the cupboard, a fierce and crazy dog they've never properly seen but heard often. Another dog, she thinks, means trouble.
But Shadow is willing to let the calm Tess live among them--after all, Joseph brought her home and they all trust him. He's a great owner, just a little old and slowing down. Their home is littered with rubbish which he can't move any more, too tired to make the trip out to the bins, and they all spend most of their time on an armchair in the living room (Joseph included). Surely, Tess won't change their lives too much.
However, disaster strikes one awful morning when Shadow wakes up with his tribe around him, but no Joseph. He's not in the living room. He's not in the kitchen. He's not upstairs. The house is silent. Shadow has been left to try and keep his tribe together, while the other dog growls and scrapes at the cupboard door and Ruby finds an easy scapegoat in Tess. All Shadow wants is for Joseph to come home. All they can do is wait.
Cats Alone is Oskar Leonard's first book, initially published under the name 'K.M. Leonard'. It covers the heart-warming themes of unity and togetherness in the face of trouble and four cats' (and two dogs') devotion to their elderly owner. In this second edition, the story has been perfected to tell the poignant tale of Shadow's tribe and their faithful wait for Joseph's return.