Paul Gallico (1897–1976) was a popular and prolific sports columnist, screenwriter, and author of books for adults and children. He was born in New York City to an Italian immigrant musician father and a mother who had studied to be a singer, and paid his way through Columbia University by tutoring children and working as a longshoreman. He began his career at the New York Daily News, where he soon became famous for his adventures with star athletes of the day. In 1937 he published the essay “Farewell to Sport” and turned to fiction, publishing stories in publications like Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, and The New Yorker. Among his forty-one books are the novella The Snow Goose (1941); Manxmouse (1968, often cited by J.K. Rowling as one of her favorite books); Mrs. ’Arris Goes to Paris (1958) and its four sequels; and The Poseidon Adventure (1969), the basis for the hugely successful 1972 film. From 1950 until his death Gallico lived outside of the United States, mostly in England, Antibes, and Monaco.
Young Peter sees a striped kitten in a park across the road from his house. As he crosses the street, he is struck by a truck. When he awakes, he discovers he has been transformed into a cat. Luckily, he is befriended by the street-smart stray, Jennie, who shows him how to survive in a world where dangers are many and humans are cruel.