The list author says: "Two of my favorite animals--horses and cats--crop up repeatedly in science fiction and fantasy novels, whether they take place in the far future or faerie. Although these two animals predominate, there are also exotics like kinkajous, meerkats, and an African black eagle in the books listed here. Plus one talking dog. You gotta have a talking dog."
"One of Science Fiction's greatest author's, Robert A. Heinlein, was fond of cats, even if they were always trying to find the door into summer. The engineer-hero in this story had to build a time-machine to go back and rescue his cat."
"R.A. MacAvoy, whose debut novel was "Tea with a Black Dragon," has also written this charming fantasy which takes place in Ireland in 1881. An old horse trainer discovers a pooka (fairy horse)and mistakes it for a strayed Connemara pony stallion. The pooka kneels, inciting him to mount and off they gallop on one of Fantasy's best and funniest wild rides."
"For those of you who feel that dragons, unicorns, and bards are a bit overdone nowadays, this fantasy trilogy offers up a heroine who binds the dead with a bandolier of bells. There are two memorable 'animals' in this trilogy: the Disreputable Dog, who can splash into Death, and Mogget the bad-tempered cat, who reminds me of some of the grouchier Jack Lemon characters."
"Druyan (descendant of the 'Prince of Ill Luck') is the wife of an absent landholder who is faced with bringing in the crops while all of the local men are off to war. Luckily she is a weather witch. Valadan, the warhorse has a cameo, Paul-Revere's-horse role."
"Valadan the magical black stallion, Titch, the inexperienced knight, and Wren, the apprentice magician star in the last novel of the 'Warhorse of Esdragon' trilogy. After a few preliminary adventures, they set off on a quest for a royal heir who has been shapeshifted into a swan."
"Andre Norton, one of the greatest fantasy and SF writers of the 20th century loved animals, cats in particular and often wrote about them. The animals in her books are highly intelligent and psychic. This particular SF adventure centers around an intergalactic pet shop which specializes in rare and unusual pets, including a kinkajou, cats, and a fox from distant Earth."
"One of Norton's famed Witch World fantasies. American Kelsie McBlair falls through an ancient stone gate in the Scottish Highlands while rescuing a wounded wild cat. She and the cat (who promptly gives birth to two kittens) are besieged on the other side of the Gate by a Dark Rider and a pack of skeletal hounds, almost before Kelsie realizes she is no longer in Scotland."
"Okay, just one more Norton. "The Beast Master" and "Lord of Thunder" are two of her best SF books. Ancient Terra has been destroyed by the Xik. Hosteen Storm, Navaho and Galactic Commando with the rank of Beast Master is relocated to Arzor with his telepathic team consisting of Baku, the African black eagle, two meerkats and a mutant sand cat. Sympathetic hero and excellent adventure."
"Another fantasy starring Dilvish and his demon horse, Black. Castle Timeless is the center of the action, and the goal of every power-hungry sorcerer who has a staff to quaver at its numerous demons. Its corridors are a constantly changing maze, and the land surrounding it is a mad god's dream, exploding volcanoes of mud, hedged with flame, and alive with winged monkeys."
"Somehow Walter Farley had to get his two most popular horses, the Black Stallion and the Island Stallion into a race together. He needed alien intervention, so here is an SF novel by a very famous horse story author."
"The trio of Pekinese in this book are also Fu dogs, born to fight demons. It's just what I would expect from this very old and dignified breed. One of my favorite Hamblys, although not her usual style."
"When witches, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick, and Nanny's cat Greebo journey abroad, the resulting travel guide is a Pratchettesque version of 'Dave Barry Does Oz in Drag.' Greebo the cat is in all of the Disc World 'witch' books, but this is his shining hour."
"Maurice is a shifty, jiving cat who used to hang around the dump behind the Unseen University, where the wizards discarded their trash. Now he and a band of talking rats roam Disc World, pulling the Pied Piper scam on unsuspecting villages."
"Gaspode, the talking dog who smells like an old privy carpet and has collected almost a complete set of DiscWorld fleas shows up in several of Pratchett's novels, but this is his starring role--well, co-starring role along with Laddie, the wonder dog."