Review: I Was an Alien Cat Toy by Ann Somerville

Temin crash lands on an unexplored planet and gets up front and personal with the natives – who are giant felines. Survival will mean making some unlikely alliances - and some most unusual friendships.

Well, that... I was not expecting. You know what I wanted. That's right, some kin-kaaaay furry sex. There was furry sex, just not kin-kaaaay. Or even kinky for that matter. But instead I got some feels, so alls good.

When Temin crash lands on an unknown planet he's found by these cat-like people. And the cats have no idea what Temin is, so they take him in as a pet. Literally. Here's some dialogue about Temin so you get an idea of just how pet-ish they treated him:
"'It was such a nuisance in the beginning. Karwa caught it on a hunting trip. He was going to butcher it but then he thought I might find it [beautiful]. Which I did, but it's been no end of trouble. It has a dreadfully finicky stomach, can't eat meat unless it's cooked, and you daren't let it off the chain or it tries to run off. It gets into everything if it's left alone in the kitchen or my workroom. I suspect it's former owner wasn't sorry to lose it.' [...] 'Karwa's sure it's an escaped pet. It was wearing some odd ornaments, and it's hair was braided. But no one's trained it, that's for sure.'"
So yeah, they had no idea what a human was or that Temin was one, with thoughts and feelings and ideas of his own. Temin had no way of communicating this to the aliens, instead he learned how to behave in order to get by. Eventually his first owner didn't know what to do with him any longer, so Gredar decided he was intrigued and wanted to own the mysterious pet.

Gredar and Temin start to become closer when Gredar finally realizes that Gredar can speak. And think! And get a hard-on! Ahem, sorry, getting ahead of myself. But once this realization occurs they try their hardest at understanding each other and this only strengthens their bond even further.

I love how their relationship progressed from pet and owner to friends. They really cared for each other and it showed. It showed in how hard they worked to learn the other's language, in how they learned to understand each other and how they defended their relationship.
"Best friend and lover of an enormous cat.

He said it in his head three times - nope, didn't get any less weird. Nothing about this situation was normal. The best thing he could say about it was that was occasionally a lot of fun."
They grew to genuinely love each other and Temin really felt comfortable and a part of their tribe. But he still misses home and the man he left behind, Jeng. There were many conflicting feelings in both characters. Not to mention, me! I so wanted Temin to stay with Gredar. I could feel their love and connection, but I could also feel how much Temin loved and missed Jeng. So, no matter how this ended, I was to be heartbroken right along with Temin and Gredar.

It sounds as if I loved this, and I mostly did. I loved the beginning when Temin was found and treated as a pet. It was fascinating. In the middle, I loved how Temin and Gredar's relationship grew and came about. But then the middle kept going and going and going. And the broken dialogue was very hard to follow, since they were learning a new language. I skimmed though some dialogue because I was a little lost at times. But then I loved the end, with the conflicted feelings, the tears and all the 'I love you's' flying around.

This was some great sci-fi, with a little bit of furry love thrown in. Even with the middle dragging on, this is definitely recommended.

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