Name that sci-fi book
September 16, 2016 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Name that book: Sci-fi cat edition

When I was young, my dad had an extensive library of sci-fi novels that I devoured. One of them, which I don't think I ever actually finished reading, has plagued me ever since and no amount of searching will turn it up. This is all I recall:

Humans had developed space flight, and were fighting against some intergalactic enemy, and used domestic cats to help pilot the spaceships because only they had sharp enough reflexes to win against them.

One line I remember is how one human pilot, after a mission (I think they could communicate telepathically with their cat co-pilot?) is miowed at by a non-pilot.

Did I completely dream this book?
posted by sarahdal to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Game of Rat and Dragon by Cordwainer Smith. Good story.
posted by traveler_ at 7:53 AM on September 16, 2016 [12 favorites]

How bizarre... I read that story last night. traveler_ has it.
posted by GuyZero at 8:14 AM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

The pilots are called 'pinlighters' and the cats are referred to at the beginning as 'Partners' until it's revealed they're cats.
posted by GuyZero at 8:16 AM on September 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Note that this isn't a novel but rather a short story usually found in a collection. Cordwainer Smith clearly liked cats since they are used in at least two other Instrumentality stories in as part of completely different SF concepts.
posted by selfnoise at 8:21 AM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

And evidently, you can read it online!
posted by AliceBlue at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's not this but if you like cat navigators…
posted by Lexica at 9:05 PM on September 16, 2016

fantastic! thank you all
posted by sarahdal at 1:11 AM on September 19, 2016

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