Impossible to read without comparing it to the author's other novel, The Fox Woman. Like that one, this is set in historical / fantastical Japan, and examines animal spirit in human form. Johnson's writing is just as atmospheric in Fudoki, though I found the characters and subject matter a little bit more grounded, and their stories more easily relatable. Perhaps this is due to the nature of Johnson's animal subject in this one: a cat. However in this one the animal story doesn't dominate as in the other novel; in Fudoki the story of a aged & dying court princess takes up as much or more narrative space. Doesn't sound that appealing, does it? But it turns out it is. This is the kind of novel you reflect on for a few days after, or think of randomly even months later as an unexpected connection to the story appears in your mind.
I do have one small regret: even though they're not directly related, I wish I had read The Fox Woman a little closer to this one. There is some character cross-over, and I think it would have deepened my enjoyment of the story.