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Time Cat

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  4,194 ratings  ·  321 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, 206 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Puffin Books (first published 1963)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 21, 2008 Caitlin rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
I'm a little uncomfortable with the history. Granted I haven't studied much world history since I was in school during the 1970s, but this seemed awfully comfortable with cliches and stereotypes. On the other hand, it's better than the virtually nothing some kids get. I did like how it got a little more complex at the end, finally acknowledging that maybe the kid would eventually miss his own home and family (at first he was pretty blase'). Definitely a juvenile - maybe one step more challenging ...more
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
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
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
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.
Jun 20, 2011 C.nick rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: want
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
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.

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
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
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
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
Catherine  Mustread
Mar 20, 2011 Catherine Mustread rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Kris Sellgren
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.
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
Amber Harris
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
Jun 05, 2007 Kim rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
Considering this is a piece of literature written in 1963, I'd say that the ideas and words are pretty modern and up-to-date even 50 years later! The flow of the story is quite slow but I would think that it is in keeping with the possibly more laid back life 5 decades ago.

As I was reading this book, I was imagining how the author Lloyd Alexander was seated behind his desk facing a wide picture window overlooking some vast green fields and letting his imagination flow, then pause once in a whil
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.
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.
Llew P.
I thought this book was fantastic. I loved the characters and the plot was excellent and informative. I learned a lot from it while enjoying myself. I would recommend this book to anyone regardless of what book they like because this book is amazing. I give this book a 10/10 for having a great plot and making me want to read more. I wouldn't want to see a movie on this book because all movies on books are terrible.
The author of this book really made things in a good order and made the events on
Kathie Jackson
Jason has just been sent to his room for wreaking havoc and starts to doze off with his cat Gareth, when Gareth speaks to him! He doesn't have 9 lives, he explains, but he can visit 9 lives anywhere on earth during any time period. So they set off on a time travel adventure beginning in ancient Egypt and wending their way through many significant times and places in history, and meet several notable figures. For your kids who like cats, time travel, and a good adventure, this book is highly reco ...more
Ideal reading. Combination of cats and time travel.
Nov 08, 2011 Margie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: lars
Now we need more historical fiction of this quality!
I have been meaning to read this time-travelling adventure of Jason and his cat Gareth for some time. I liked the no-nonsense approach to our talking cat's ability to experience earlier histories. And I liked that their travels exposed them to different cultures' appreciation (or not) of cats. But I think I liked best of all Lloyd's introduction that described how he came to write this story and how it changed the course of his scholarship to younger audiences--that was the most delightful revel ...more
Very well written
Time Cat is partly fantasy and partly historical fiction. Jason (a modern/1960s boy) goes on a series of adventures with his cat Gareth. Gareth tells him that 1) cats can talk, and 2) cats can magically experience nine different lives through their ability to time travel. Gareth takes Jason with him as he time travels, and they visit some remarkable times and places, including Egypt (2700 BC), Rome and Britain (50 BC), Ireland (411 AD), Italy (1468), Peru (1555), The Isle of Man (1588), Germany ...more
How did I not know of the existence of this book until yesterday? Me, who reads children's stories nonstop, loves cats above all things, & is a complete history nerd? Thank god that lack has been straightened out. This is a fantastic adventure yarn that I would have loved just as much at age eight as I did when I finished it this morning.
Jason loves his cat, Gareth, a very handsome guy with wonderful black fur sporting an interesting white mark, & spends a lot of time with him. Jason kn
So I was bored at work one day and didn't have my book in tow - so I pulled this off the student bookshelves and started reading it. You can do that with this novel - read it with breaks in between. And that was the biggest problem I had with this book.

You have a boy, Jason, and his cat, Gareth, and throughout the entire thing you end up with no sense whatsoever of either's personality. One day Jason asks his cat if he has nine lives, and instead of acting shocked when the cat responds, there i
Time Cat did not do what I was hoping it would. The plot is very thin: after a brief introduction of a few pages where main character Jason discovers via simple conversation that his cat, Gareth, can talk, AND time travel, off they go to Ancient Egypt. In Egypt, Jason has to teach the Pharaoh that cats can't be commanded. Once the Pharaoh is taught his lesson--over the course of two chapters--off they go to the next period in time.

The time periods are awfully simplified and unrealistic. No one l
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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
More about Lloyd Alexander...
The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain #2) The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1) The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain #5) Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4) The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain #3)

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