by Kij Johnson and Claire Eddy
This is two stories rolled into one. It begins with Harueme, an aging princess, who writes a story about a very special tortoiseshell cat that is transformed into a human woman. This cat goes on to experiences that Harueme was never able to have, because unlike Harueme she is not hedged in by expectations. It takes pace in 12th century Japan and stays very true to the period and the culture.