The humans want to kill all cats, be they ordinary or magical. The cats want to escape somewhere far from humans. Nadine is a feline social welfare agent whose sole wish is to reunite the two races in this post-plague world.
After a narrow escape from orphaned teenagers determined to use her for target practice, Nadine is left terrified and wondering if there's a way humans and felines can live together in peace.
She finds the answer to her worries in a story about a magical cat, a true Malkin called the Baruhk Sh'Toole. Unfortunately, the Baruhk Sh'Toole disappeared years ago, taking her secrets with her. Despite warnings from her friend, Nadine is determined to find this legendary cat and return life to normal.
With only a map of the queen's last known location and a vague story to go on, the she-cat leaves her comfortable life for an adventure to the Outer Reaches, a place where the trappers will skin a cat alive and then consider killing it. There she must befriend a priest and hope he knows where to find the cat who can heal the world, but doesn't want to be found.
Can a naive young social worker uncover the secrets of the Baruhk Sh'Toole and heal the widening rift between humans and cats or is Nadine doomed to be one more victim in the war?