(Found)Book about a human girl living with feline people

royheil

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There is a book that I read, probably in the late '80s. I don't recall the title or author. It was not very old, so probably written in the early '80's. I was in a book club, and I think this was one of the books that was sent to me.

My memory is not very clear, but it seems to me the title or the authors name, or both, started with a "C". So it would seem like I am thinking about a C.J. Cherryh's Chanur novel, about the Hani. However, I may be conflating the books, because the stories don’t match what I recall reading.

I don't recall space travel being a part of the story at all. There is a human colony on a planet, living near a village of feline people. The make character is a girl/young woman, who I think may have been an outcast from the human village. She was taken in by the feline people, and she was mated to and protected by the chief. The feline ways are not like the human ways, and life is harsh, but preferable to the way her own people were treating her. Most of this is just a vague recollection. The only clear memory I have is that the chief would often grab the girl by the throat with his claw. Near the end, it was explained that this was a sign of affection. It meant something akin to "I hold your life in my hand, but I do not take it".


Does any of this ring a bell?

Thanks. I posted a query here a couple of years ago, and you were very helpful and found the book I was looking for. I hope this query does as well as that one.

 

Bramandin

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dr_lew

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What you describe reminds me a lot of Survivor by Octavia E. Butler, though the aliens in that case were not explicitly referred to as feline, they just had fur IIRC.
 

royheil

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Thanks for the suggestions. I have read descriptions of these, and they don't seem to be what I read.

Catteni Series seemed promising, but much of the story did not ring any bells.

Decision at Doona did have the Cat-people, but did not seem to be the story of a girl. In the book I read, the girl is the main character, but the descriptions of Decision at Doona don't mention a girl at all.

Thanks for the suggestions, though. I think I might give Decision at Doona a read.
 
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royheil

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I know I have read Survivor, but somehow don't remember anything about it (I have read all of Octavia E. Butler's Patternist novels). Reading the Wikipedia description about it, it really does seem familiar. The Tahkohn are described as having fur and, most importantly for me, claws. Maybe I pictured cats when I read it.

This one is promising. I'll check it out and get back to you. Thanks.
 

royheil

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I have just confirmed that it is indeed Survivor. This is the excerpt I was looking for:

"Do you know the meaning of the hand-to-throat gesture?"
"It's a caress." Neila sounded harassed. "It's one of the things they do instead of kissing."
"It's that, yes. But it began as an expression of trust. You don't let anyone that close to your neck unless you trust him. The words that went with the gesture were, 'I hold your life, and do not take it.'"

This may be marked "Found".
 

dr_lew

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Aha! So glad I could help. I really adore Butler’s work and I’m sad there is not more of it for us to read.
 

Bramandin

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Congrats on finding it. I figured that McCaffrey was a long-shot, but hey you got something out of it. :)
 

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