In the course of his work as head of the Fund for Animals, Amory is forever saving--and temporarily housing in his N.Y.C. apartment--homeless dogs, cats, and birds, but he never allows himself to keep one as a pet because of his heavy travel schedule. Everything changes one fateful Christmas Eve, however, when Amory rescues and brings home an injured, terrified cat, and finds that he can't part with it. This is the engaging story of their first year together, as the lives of man and cat intertwine. Amory, an ardent animal-fights activist, touches here on his efforts to save Canadian seals and stop illegal whaling. But his focus is primarily on the warm relationship that develops between him and the cat, whom he dubs ""Polar Bear,"" and on his attempts to help the animal overcome his many fears. Vacuum cleaners, strangers (both two- and four-legged), and airplane travel top the list. ""I became convinced,"" says Amory, ""that a cat. . .ranked as a fellow traveler on long trips somewhere above an alligator and orangutans, but well below cross servants, quarrelsome children, sick goldfish, and compact automobiles."" A responsive chord is sure to be struck in cat lovers as Amory tries to relieve Polar Bear's anxieties toward household guests. But despite numerous ""man-to-cat talks,"" even such affable cat fanciers as Walter Cronkite (who gets down on all fours to make Polar Bear's acquaintance under the bed) are given the cold shoulder. Amory informs us at the end of the book that Polar Bear, who is now 12 years old, has made significant advances over the years (he no longer immediately hides under the couch when the doorbell rings). Utterly delightful and humorous, and a treasure for anyone who's ever been ""owned by a cat.