A rather different kind of eat story presents the life of Lucia, who ""will take the maximum and give the minimum"" during her life with John Ainsworth, whose wife, Susan, has left him for another man. She had divorced her first husband to marry John so that, after six years with her, John is not too willing to let her have her freedom. Lucia's untouchableness, her ability to fulfill a cat's destiny and her lack of affection offer solace to John as does the love he finds for his brother's wife, only honor must be respected so he and Lillas are parted. Susan's death, Lucia's sickness and death bring him to the acceptance of all he has lost and the chance to be free of the house with so many memories. A spare, introspective account, this attributes no sentimentality to an authentic portrait of a cat and argues, thoughtfully, the contrast in human relations to a feline's progress through life.