This is a collection fantasy/horror stories that involve cats, some forty `tails', many by well known authors- Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles de Lint, Stephen King, Kelly Link, and Susanna Clarke among others. But this is *not* an anthology for cat lovers, or at least not for those with soft hearts. These are dark stories all, not light-hearted fantasies where the noble young cat discovers he's a prince and goes on adventures. In a rather uneven collection, cats meet dire fates at times. They are thrown, throttled, starved, beaten, run over and consumed. Many of these stories I did not enjoy reading. Most are well crafted, though; it's my revulsion at the depiction of violence against felines that gave me such a problem with the stories.
Datlow has expanded the definition of `cat' to include other members of the feline family: lions, tigers and pumas; a couple of mythical ones, the sphinx and the manticore; and some made up for the occasion. To me, these were easier to read-the bigger cats hold their own against humans better.
Decent dark fantasy, but don't give this to someone whose cats are their `children'.