80s young adult book about Egypt cats and angst
January 4, 2013 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Help-me-remember-this-important-book-from-my-childhood-filter: Egypt, time travel, cats, and family dysfunction version.

I'm trying to remember the name of a book I read over and over when I was in junior high, and it's driving me insane. Help!

I got the book in 1984 or so. It was a used paperback from the library's book exchange, so it could have been a bit older than that, but I can't imagine it was from before 1975.

The book was about time travel, Egypt, cats, and family dysfunction.

The protagonist is about a young girl whose architect father is extremely interested in Egyptology, and who shares his interest with her. Despite this, she feels alienated from her family. This is, in part, because her parents have a blissed-out, crushy sort of love-life that makes her feel excluded. Her relationship with her mother is especially fraught, but I don't remember the details.

Somehow, possibly with the aid of a mummified cat, the girl travels back in time to Egypt, where she finds herself living in a very similar family situation. I remember the Egyptian parts of the story being very straightforward and slice-of-life-ish, with a little religious content but nothing especially fantastical.

At some point, the protagonist's Egypt-father gives her a beautiful kitten with piercing green eyes named was Ta-ka-loe, and at the end of the book, the boy-Pharoh sees her kitten and demands that she give it to him. She refuses, and this denial of the Pharoh's divine right somehow jostles the fabric of space and time enough to fling her back to contemporary NYC. There, (I think), her NYC-father gives her a similar kitten, which somehow resolves her emotional issues, and then the book ends.

I want to say that the book was called "The Cat with the Emerald Eyes," but searches on Amazon, Bookfinder, and Google books are turning up nothing.

Any ideas about the title of this thing?
posted by palmcorder_yajna to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think you may be looking for Cat in the Mirror by Mary Stolz. Haven't read it since the 80s myself so I can't swear to it, but my vague recollection and some online summaries seem promising.
posted by Stacey at 7:55 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yep, Stacey is right - the GoodReads synopsis and cover image will probably ring a bell.
posted by dotgirl at 7:57 PM on January 4, 2013

Response by poster: Yes, that's exactly it! You guys are awesome! Thank you!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:58 PM on January 4, 2013

Ha! I asked that question a few years ago (eight!). I was able to find a good used copy through Amazon.
posted by deborah at 11:09 PM on January 4, 2013

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