Six years of combing the pre-dawn streets had taught Arlene that for a little animal, alone and scared, dawn is too late. (p.8)
It's hardly fair to call this a book -- it's a short story, bound in chapbook format, 44 pages long. And it's about cats (and one very special cat) which is why I bought it.
Arlene is a fiercely independent old woman who rescues cats and dogs: she spends her social security money on decent petfood and forages in trash cans for her own dinner. One day she hears a kittenish wail and finds, on a high windowsill, the ugliest kitten she's ever seen: huge ears, tiny eyes, practically no nose ... luckily he has splendidly silky fur.
He's also very smart. And rather special.
And because Arlene knows what happens to special kitties, she makes the right call.
It's a funny little story but it's stayed with me, though I'm not sure why: the writing is fine but doesn't sing, the plot is pretty slight. Nice, though. I'm keeping an eye out for The Amulet, novel set about a year after this tale.