As you can probably tell, Mati is no ordinary cat. He is of an ancient bloodline that dates back to a legendary Egyptian queen who gave birth to two magical kittens. The spotted Sa and the red-coated Abyssinian Tygrine have been at each other’s throats ever since, and Mati is the last of his kind. Sent across the sea to England by his mother as a young catling for his own safety, he finds a home of sorts at Cressida Lock market with a gang of feral cats and wise old Sparrow. He also makes a friend of nervous stray Jess, who used to live with a human (called a ‘hind’) but cannot find her way home.
The feral cats are wary of any cat who is different from them, and when the marketplace is flooded they blame Mati, even though it was the work of the Sa assassin sent to kill him. Only by entering the cat-version of the enchanted mists, a place called Fiåney (Muse: the little circle over the ‘a’ is VERY important – don’t ask me why, I think it’s a cat thing) can Mati hope to defeat his ancient enemy.
The unicorn caught up with Mati as he was returning to the world, and is delighted to bring you this exclusive interview:
Muse: What was it like growing up a prince among kittens?
Mati: When I arrived at Cressida Lock I could recall very little of my previous life, but shards of memory have returned to me. I remember a long winding river where I used to watch water birds gather noisily, the scent of pine needles and the call of nightjars piercing the silence of the desert. I can hardly remember how the other cats treated me, but I was always happy and well-fed. Most of all, I remember my amma, the Queen of the Tygrine Cats. I miss her... It hurts to remember.
Muse: Does it hurt when you glow?
Mati: It causes me no pain - I am scarcely aware of it happening, it's as though some greater force takes hold of me. I hear voices of spirits, feel the heat of Fiåney, and an incredible light glows inside me, tingles my fur, coursing through my whiskers.
Muse: Are you rich?
Mati: I do not really understand what this means. I know, from Jess, that hinds like to accumulate possessions. This means nothing in the world of cats. If I have a warm, safe bed in the catacombs, and my friends around me, I am rich in spirit.
Muse: Is Jess your girlfriend?
Mati: Jess... Oh... Miaow! Jess is a friend, a good, dear friend... [My agent promised that no one would ask this question!]
Muse: Would you like to have kittens of your own one day?
Mati: It seems unreal but yes, I suppose I would like kittens. But such thoughts are far from my mind. I'm still not entirely sure where kittens come from. I'll ask Sparrow.
Muse: How do you get to Fiåney?
Mati: Every cat passes through Fiåney as they close their eyes and sink from wakefulness - it is the passage that weaves between dreams. As a Tygrine, I have the ability to enter the spirit world at a time of my choosing, though learning how to do this took me some time. I must empty my mind of my worries and enter a trance. It sometimes helps to repeat a chant. I have become quite good at entering Fiåney. It is escaping that is proving more difficult...
Ah yes, the unicorn understands that! The enchanted mists are very similar. Thank you very much, Mati.
The excellent and exciting book words in The Tygrine Cat were written by Mati's author Inbali Iserles (cats are far too busy with other things to write their own book words). So if you always wondered where cats disappear to when they’re not rubbing themselves around your ankles in the hope of another meal, then get hold of this book to find out more! Mati’s adventures continue with The Tygrine Cat on the Run.
Watch the official trailer HERE
Please leave a comment for Mati!
Please leave a comment for Mati!