Harry Goldman is back once more, and this time he’s living the domestic life up in the Catskill Mountains with Anastasia, his transgenic girlfriend. At the end of Catnip 2: Rise of the Transgenics, he went through the same process as Anastasia did. Now he’s the same as she is, and their only wish is to be left alone and to live their lives in peace.
Their peace is shattered by the arrival of a pig-man named Istvan. It seems that Istvan escaped from a laboratory in Hungary where yet another scientist was conducting transgenic experiments. In short order, the young couple is confronted by Szabo, a giant of a man who is more shark than man. He has plans not only for himself but also for others who wish to become as he is.
This is something that Harry cannot allow. Soon he, Anastasia and Istvan are circling the globe and making stops in Hungary and Serbia. Their journey ends in Russia where it all began. There, Harry meets the real brains behind the transgenics program and is once more involved with his girlfriend in a battle against those who’d destroy society, a battle that could very well cost them their lives.
Harry Goldman smelled grass, dirt and flowers. It was night and he was running through a field, seeing nature up close, not as person looking down from the vantage point of five feet or more, but from the viewpoint of an animal slipping and sliding through the foliage at ground level on all fours, legs moving in a ceaseless, effortless rhythm. It was a distinct joy to be outdoors, in his element, alive and free.
He remembered emerging from his cabin at dusk, seeing the world unfold before him. It’s a big change from being cooped up here, he thought as he examined the greenery, nosing around a clump of clover just outside the cabin porch. It was tiring being kept inside all the time, a stultifying existence. Four walls, wood, stale air... this was better. A person was not supposed to live indoors all the time. It wasn’t healthy and it wasn’t natural, not in the least.
Here, he could be as one with the natural order of things. He looked behind him at the open door, expecting his girlfriend, Anastasia, to be there. “Anastasia,” he called out. “Are you coming?”
No answer came from her, and that perturbed him. In the past, she had always waited for him, had matched him step for step. Now, though, she wasn’t around, and he felt a sudden sense of loss. A second later, the bad feeling vanished and he looked at the greenery in front of him. She would catch up to him soon.
This being summertime, he sniffed and tested the air around him. Cottony warmth enveloped his body, caressed his fur and comforted his soul. When he inhaled the clean, sweet air, a sense of happiness filled him. The world lay swathed in darkness. Only the stars, pinpricks of light, sparkled and illuminated the landscape along with a full moon. The forest beckoned.
Running on all fours was an odd, although welcome sensation, unlike any he’d ever had. It was a liberating feeling, something he couldn’t easily define, yet exhilarating in its own right. Freedom—yes, that was the word—it was freedom to go and do what he pleased. This is how it has to be, he thought as he nosed through a thicket of grass, easily brushing aside the blades of greenery.
His body, small, sleek and powerful, moved with speed and economy. It was a revelation, movement being so easy, and he felt his muscles, compact, tightly coiled and yet flexible, work under his fur and propel him along. His legs ate up the dirt at a speed unknown to man. Another revelation occurred, and it had to do with his senses. Sharp beyond compare, they picked up the minutest sounds of the night.
There the call of a whippoorwill, the squeak of a field mouse searching for a tasty morsel, the mole digging and grinding in the dirt as it sensed him—all those sounds came at once. For anyone or anything else, it might have caused confusion. Not for him, though, as he differentiated them in his mind and marveled at how wonderful his new form was.
Harry had become a cat. Cats were small creatures, but fast and clever and agile, and they were natural hunters. Even though he was an animal, he did not let nature rule him. Instinct was not his master. Intelligence was. A real cat had few wishes in life other than food, warmth and exercise when it felt like it and not much else. Domesticated cats sometimes gave their owners purrs and rubs of affection, but that was in exchange for the creature comforts they could obtain.
Harry, though, was different, as he possessed a human’s intelligence. It would have been easy to catch one of the smaller animals out there. They could not match his speed or agility, but he did not wish to kill them. He was searching for something else, something larger, but did not know what it was. No matter, as he sensed that it would reveal itself in due time.