In this lively retelling, of a Russian folk tale, a lazy cat abandoned in the forest finds that fine clothes and a fierce reputation are more useful than actions. He marries a lady fox who agrees to keep him well fed, as befits a gentleman from the royal palace. She boasts to the bear, boar, wolf, and hare, all would-be suitors, that her husband is so fierce he will tear them to pieces; their bumbling attempts to placate him result in even greater awe. The tale's irony and humor are enhanced by stylized pen drawings, so fine that they simulate etchings, with watercolor added in muted gray, rust and wine. The animals, strikingly set against white background, are attired as 19th-century gentlefolk. A vigorous and appealing fable, suitable for reading aloud or quiet browsing.