After the sudden death of his owner, the Cat finds himself abandoned without food in an unfurnished house. Initially he consorts with his old friends, Mouse and Rat -- one addicted to cheese and philosophy, the other to flashy Italian suits and style -- but gradually he gives way to his normal cat-like urges. At first guilty, then elated at his new freedom and its beneficial impact on the other residents, the Cat falls prey to a new and troubling vision of how the house might be with more initiative and enterprise -- and more discipline for the likes of Mouse and Rat. Gradually the Cat unleashes new forces onto the house and the gardens beyond, achieving ever-greater things, except that, as he does so, he finds himself more and more alone. Based on the classic themes of love and friendship, of outsider and insider, of eating to live and living to eat, of substance and style, loyalty and betrayal, leadership, ambition, and domination, the book follows the Cat to his final home.