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Time Cat

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  5,350 Ratings  ·  403 Reviews
Gareth's definitely no ordinary cat. For one thing, he can talk. For another, he's got the power to travel through time. And the instant he tells this to Jason, the two of them are in ancient Egypt, on the first of nine amazing adventures that Jason will never forget.
Paperback, 191 pages
Published 1982 by Avon Books (first published 1963)
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holly Please, do not post what are obviously homework questions on here. Read the book as you are suppose to.

Community Reviews

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Apr 21, 2008 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves cats
Recommended to Caitlin by: Mom
Summary: Gareth's definitely not an ordinary cat. For one thing, he can talk.For another, he's got the power to travel through time- Anywhere, any time, any country, any century, Gareth tells Jason. And in the wink of a very special cat's eye, they're off. From ancient Egypt to Japan, the land of young Leonardo da Vinci to the town of a woman accused of witchcraft, Jason and Gareth are whisked from place to place and friend to foe. Full of fun, excitement, and a good dose of history, here's a fa ...more
May 13, 2013 Kylie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, children-s
I loved this book- Lloyd Alexander certainly knows a lot about history- and cats. He captures the quirky behavior and manerisms of cats perfectly, and really makes me want to go home and spend some good quality time with my own cats. In Time Cat, the reader follows a boy and his cat as they travel through time to experience many monumental moments in history. The book devotes two or three chapters to each time period- just enough to get the point accross and move on. It is also historically acur ...more
Okay I liked the premise but not the execution. They just seem to be jumping around to different times and countries without any real direction. Reads more like a series of short stories.
Jul 27, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like cats.

I like time travel stories.

I like kiddie entertainment.

So, you'd probably expect I'd like this book...

...and I did!
Oct 24, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All cats can talk if they want, but most cats don't wish to do so. Gareth, however, is unique: he talks to Jason, his boy companion (cats don't have owners), and takes Jason with him on nine adventures, one for each of his nine lives. They start in ancient Egypt, and travel forward through history in leaps and bounds, experiencing some of history's most pivotal ages and meeting some of its most colorful characters.

It's a delightful romp through history, and my daughter and I found occasion to p
Apr 29, 2016 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, from_library
A nice, light romp through several historical vignettes from the perspective of cats in history. This is Alexander's first book written for youth and his style is very apparent, especially when he's writing dialogue between boys and girls. It's not as enjoyable as the The Book of Three series or the overlooked gem The Illyrian Adventure, but it's also quite possibly easier to enjoy for a slightly younger audience than those.

The story is of a boy who discovers that instead of having nine lives, c
Kevin Fanning
Read this with Kinnell but gave up about half way through, neither of us was feeling it.

It's a book about a kid and his talking, time-traveling cat. They visit different historical eras (Ancient Egypt, Feudal Japan, etc) and...not really solve problems? Just kind of visit, meet some people, get semi-involved in cat-centric situations, and then take off? It's all kind of low-stakes, when things get hot they just move on to the next era. The portraits of the different historical cultures aren't o
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Guest Review by Emma age 8
Time cat is about a boy named Jason and his cat Gareth. One day, Jason is sent to his room for punching his little brother. Frustrated and angry, he says “I wish I had nine lives.” And to his surprise, Gareth says “I do too.”

This is the start of nine magical adventures for Jason and Gareth that take them from Ancient Egypt to America just before the Revolution.

What I liked best about this book is that it’s very suspenseful. I couldn’t put it down! I really cared about t
Essentially nine fables wrapped in a thin frame tale. But when there are both cats and time travel involved, how could it not be fun?

Here's the first paragraph, to give you an idea of the Lloyd Alexander style:

"Gareth was a black cat with orange eyes. Sometimes, when he hunched his shoulders and put down his ears, he looked like an owl. When he stretched, he looked like a trickle of oil or a pair of black silk pajamas. When he sat on a window ledge, his eyes half-shut and his tail curled around
May 26, 2007 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary School Kids
I had heard that I would enjoy Lloyd Alexander and, when I asked for his books, I mistakenly assumed that he wrote one long series... As a result, I ended up with this book, which is great for young readers. It walks you through different periods and famous people/locations (even if the descriptions are a bit unvaried and sterotypical). As an adult reader, it left something to be desired.
If your cat could time travel, which nine places and times would he choose to visit? Well, Lloyd Alexander's cat would go to Egypt in 2700 BC, Rome and Britain in 55 BC, Ireland in 411 AD, Japan in 998 AD, Italy in 1468, Peru in 1555, The Isle of Man in 1588, Germany in 1600, and America in 1775. Lloyd Alexander's cat would also take his friend, Jason, along with him on these nine time traveling visits.

This is not your typical type of time travel. As part of his cat's time travel magic, Jason is
Jun 20, 2011 C.nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: want, childrens-lit
I was disappointed by his treatment of the Celts of Britain and Ireland, he made the cat look down on them for things that all cultures did and do.

“These Britons are like big children. They make up stories about things. The way they’d like them to happen. Whether they really happened that way doesn’t matter.” Gareth, The Time Cat, Lloyd Alexander

This is an unfair statement seeing as I can recall, Yggdrasil the world tree of the Norse, the legend of Romulus and Remus and the events leading to th
Jul 27, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016reviews
First sentence: Gareth was a black cat with orange eyes.

Premise/plot: Jason is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But that begins to change when in the midst of complaining out loud to his cat, Gareth, Gareth surprises him by talking back. The cat reveals that he can visit nine different lives--any time, any country--and he can and will be happy to take Jason with him.

The times visited by Jason and Gareth: Egypt 2700 B.C., Rome and Britain 55 B.C., Ireland 411 A.D., Japan 998
What a gem. This was everything I wanted the Magic Treehouse books to be--rich, historically accurate, funny, engaging, full of adventure and interesting characters. First page:

"Gareth was a black cat with orange eyes. Sometimes, when he hunched his shoulders and put down his ears, he looked like an owl. When he stretched, he looked like a trickle of oil or a pair of black silk pajamas. When he sat on a window ledge, his eyes half shut and his tail curled around him, he looked like a secret.

Kellie Sheridan
Review originally posted at as part of Back to School week.

Time Cat is about a boy and his cat Gareth, who uses his nine lives to travel back through history. I always recalled this book as being the title that really got me into history and while I’m still sure it did that, I now know that a lot of what I learned wasn’t that accurate, but still a lot of fun.

The main character Jason is fairly bland, but he serves as a great host in order for the reader to imagine themselves on fanta
Ally Mellinger
Aug 26, 2013 Ally Mellinger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Frankly, this story made me feel as though it had been written by a child. The plot was so thin I could've cut through it with a butter knife. To be honest, I couldn't even finish the whole book. Jason, a young boy around the age of nine, discovers that his cat can speak and time travel through simple conversation; he seems completely unfazed by this new development.

To be honest, our two time travellers seem like an adorable couple. However this avenue was never pursued, but simply hinted at t
Nov 18, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: This was a wonderful story about a cat that has nine lives. The cat talks and has magical powers. His owner Jason finds out that this cat can talk after he decided to buy him as a pet. The cat tells Jason that he can take him anywhere through time. The story portrays these two characters as best friends. They travel through time. They go to ancient Egypt, Japan and even meeting Leonardo DiVinCi. and more! On their way through time, they meet a woman who does witchcraft. The woman teache ...more
Jul 31, 2010 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Lloyd Alexander has always been one of my favorite authors - his Taran Wanderer series were the first chapter books that I read on my own. I remember my mother saying that she knew reading with me was about to change when I started reading ahead in these books - we might read aloud together in the future, but more often than not I'd probably head off on my own.

I really like another one of his books, The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian - so much that the last cat I had with my folks before I
Nov 12, 2016 Trinity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Garret is not any ordinary cat because he can talk but he also has one other strange thing about him. He can time travel. Instead of Garret having nine lives, he lives nine different lives. Jason is the owner of Garret has always tried to get Garret to time travel. Right after Jason finds out that he will be time traveling with a cat, they are in Ancient Egypt. They don't only learn about the different cultures around the world, they go around the world and live the different cultures. This book ...more
Catherine  Mustread
Mar 20, 2011 Catherine Mustread rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: Prydain Chronicles
After publishing five adult books between 1955-1963, Time Cat is Alexander's first book for children, a quick trip through history on a fun journey through time with Jason, and his cat, Gareth, who doesn't have nine lives but can visit nine lives in different times in history. Jason learns about other cultures and the importance of thinking for himself as well as "finding out a part of what you have to know to be a grown-up."

The two of them have some fantastic adventures traveling from Ancient E
Amber Calkins
This is the book that time and time again makes me want to be a writer. There's something about the story that Alexander crafts... it certainly isn't the main characters, for they are simple (as, in a children's book, they should be). I think part of it is the history, and part of it is the magic. Alexander is known for his Black Cauldron series, but like any good writer, he continues to shine in other areas as well. Time Cat is no exception. Alexander plays with the idea that a cat does have ni ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Time Cat, Jason finds out that his cat Gareth, can speak! But, that isn't the part that surprised him. Jason has always been sure that Gareth could if he wanted to. Jason also found out that Gareth didn't have 9 lives, but he could travel to 9 different eras. In this book Jason and Gareth go on an interesting and clever adventure to Egypt, Italy, Ireland, Spain and more.
I really liked this book. It was very interesting and I could not put it down once I started reading. I would recommend this
Lex N.
Jan 07, 2015 Lex N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book Time Cat, Jason finds out his cat can talk and time travel! They travel to multiple places and have adventures of their own.

I liked this book. Though it was not the most exciting at times it was fun to see how the civilizations in the book (like Egypt) had a history with cats. It was a quick and easy read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and easy read and little fun, historical fiction.
Leah Bayer
Goodreads has helped me rediscover so many books I read as a child. This is one of those books that I totally forgot about, but once I saw that cover it brought back SO many memories of one of my favorite pieces of cat-literature (yeah, I loved books about cats then and still do!). I must have read this 5+ times as a kid.
Kris Sellgren
Dec 08, 2014 Kris Sellgren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
An utterly charming story about a time-traveling cat and his boy. It starts in ancient Egypt (naturally), and hops forward through interesting times in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. Visits to Leonardo da Vinci and witch-hunts in Germany are thought-provoking, while the Roman Empire and Imperial Japan are simply fun.
Feb 10, 2010 Aerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved how all of the places and times that they go have different characters and the characters all tell a different story! BBE (Best Book Ever!)P.S There are lots of BBE's. It doesn't mean that I like each book better than the last.
These vignettes are quick-paced and charming, though a little random when taken all together. I loved it anyway, though. This is a great read for kids, cat lovers, cat owners, and anyone interested in a quirky take on history and culture in general.
Hannah Ajayi A.
May 27, 2016 Hannah Ajayi A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A boy has a cat that talks. Not only that the cat travels through time as they explore nine stories. Enjoy:-)
Apr 06, 2016 Sydney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book in about an hour. Loved it just as much as when I was a child. A boy time travels with his cat and it's amazing
Nov 08, 2011 Margie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lars
Now we need more historical fiction of this quality!
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Lloyd Chudley Alexander (January 30, 1924 - May 17, 2007) was an influential American author of more than forty books, mostly fantasy novels for children and adolescents, as well as several adult books. His most famous contribution to the field of children's literature is the fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain. The concluding book of the series, The High King, was awarded the Newbery Medal i ...more
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“Books can truly change our lives: the lives of those who read them, the lives of those who write them. Readers and writers alike discover things they never knew about the world and about themselves.” 149 likes
“The only thing a cat worries about is what's happening right now. As we tell the kittens, you can only wash one paw at a time.” 53 likes
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