"Funny, savage, and brilliant, Klawde is the pet I wish I had."--Max Brallier, author of the New York Times Best Seller The Last Kids on Earth
Klawde is not your basic cat. He's an emperor from another planet, exiled to Earth. He's cruel. He's cunning. He's brilliant... and he's also Raj Banerjee's best friend.
Klawde and Raj are back! As summer turns to fall, our favorite warlord cat remains in his pitiful exiled existence. But Raj has an even scarier prospect than cosmic exile: starting at a new school.
And if things didn't seem complicated enough, both cat and human are confronted with two figures from their past they did not expect to pop up in Elba, Oregon...
Heavily illustrated, with a hilarious, biting voice that switches between Raj's and Klawde's perspectives, this is the story of an unlikely friendship that emerges as two fish out of water continue to find their footing in strange new worlds.
About the Author
Robb Mommaerts is an illustrator living and working in the frigid state of Wisconsin. He hasn't changed much from his childhood years in the fact that he still mostly loves drawing monsters, dinosaurs, and robots. From his basement dungeon, he works primarily in the world of game art, children's books, character design, and comics.
When not attempting to put the strange daydreams from his head to paper, he and his wife are trying to keep up with two kids and a dog.
Read an Excerpt
I was getting dressed verrrrry slowly. The reason: Today was the first day of middle school. This was scary enough for any kid, but I was living in a brand-new town, and that made it ten times worse.
I wished I could just crawl back under the covers, but Klawde was lying on my bed. He wasn’t very nice about sharing, and I had the scratch marks to prove it.
“Do you think I’ll know anyone?” I asked him. “I mean, besides Cedar and Steve and the kids from Camp Eclipse?” Unfortunately, those kids included Newt, who was always trying to mess with me, and Scorpion, who always picked on me. “I just hope there’ll be other new kids in sixth grade.”
If Klawde had an opinion about the matter, he didn’t express it. He stretched and yawned in the little square of sunlight falling on the bed.
“The first time I see Newt, she’ll probably try to trip me in the hallway,” I said. “And Scorpion will step on my face.”
Klawde swished his tail and rolled over.
What was the point of having a talking cat if he didn’t actually talk? I loved him, but sometimes he could be pretty frustrating.
“Look at my schedule,” I said, holding up the paper I’d printed out last night. It was so complicated, I needed to go to school just to be able to understand it.
“I’ve never had homeroom before,” I said. “Or had to walk around a huge school all by myself. How will I find my classes? And Room 3.5—what does that even mean?”
“Raj! You’re going to be late!” my mom called from downstairs.
I shoved some color-coded folders into my backpack, along with the rest of my new school supplies.
“Lunch isn’t until next-to-last period. I’m gonna starve,” I said. “And what kind of a class is ‘RBX’? That’s not even a word!”
Klawde opened his mouth, like he was finally about to say something. But he just yawned again. He rolled onto his back and let the sunlight fall on his furry belly.
“Don’t you have anything to say?” I asked him.
Klawde stretched all the way out and wriggled his toes.
“Oh, have you been speaking?” he said. “I wasn’t paying attention.”
I was in a mood most foul.
My plans to re-reconquer my home planet were at a standstill, and it was all thanks to that cross-eyed fool, Flooffee-Fyr. Not only had my former lackey overthrown and exiled me, he had also closed all wormholes between Earth and Lyttyrboks, making a return presently impossible.
Luckily I knew that double-crossing nincompoop better than he knew himself. Flooffee could manage a coup, but not an entire planet of cats. I had been following the chaos on the Intra-Universal Feline News Feed. Any day now he would call me and beg for me to come back. And once I ruled Lyttyrboks for the third time, I would never again allow that power to slip through my claws!
In the meantime, however, I could do little but sit on my backside and watch the intergalactic cat phone, waiting for it to ring. I was so disturbed by this state of inaction that I had napped only eleven times yesterday. And now, when I was trying to catch up on my rest, the Human would not cease his inane blathering.
Though I pointedly ignored him, the boy-Human droned on about this new school of his. He was—as usual—helpless in the face of a challenge, and he begged me to share some of my wisdom with him.
Yawning, I took pity, and asked what they taught there.
“Poison Chemistry? Battle Tactics? The Art of Slash-and-Claw?”
He would be more useful once he had learned such basics.
But the Human informed me that he would be learning none of these essential skills.
“Haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve said?”
I already told him I had NOT.
I inspected his diagram of classes. “A course in English?” I said, swishing my tail scornfully. “But that is a language you already speak! And lunch? You know how to eat!”
Although it was disgusting to watch.
“Where is Revenge 101?” I demanded. “Where is the Art of Ambush?”
Ah, the Art of Ambush! I remembered fondly how I had taught it to my most brilliant student—Ffangg.
That traitorous wretch.
The boy was still blathering, but thankfully the master of the house—the mother-Human—called up the stairs again.
“Raj, your friends Cedar and Steve are here!” she said. “You have to GO!”
“Wish me luck,” he said.
I scoffed. “True warriors make their own luck!”
But I pitied him as he rushed away to this “middle school.” Leave it to the hairless ogres, in their stupidity and shortsightedness, to create schools that taught nothing of importance.
That’s when it hit me—my latest BRILLIANT idea!
The Humans may not teach the Art of Ambush, but I could. What if I set up a school? A school of my own.
A school for . . . warriors!
On the walk to school, Cedar, Steve, and I took out our schedules, and as we compared them, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach.
We had almost no classes together.
“But we’re in the same math class,” Cedar said to me as we hung around the flag in front of the school, waiting for the doors to open. “And sometimes we have lunch together. And look—we all have Lab RBX!”
“Whatever that is,” Steve said.
At the sound of the bell, we hurried inside. A big monitor hung from the ceiling of the main hall and flashed a message in bright red letters:
welcome back, fightin’ bookworms!
Was the school mascot really an earthworm wearing boxing gloves? Worms didn’t even have arms.
The first good news of the day was that I found my homeroom, no problem. (It was right inside the front door.) I sat down just before the tardy bell rang. When I looked around, I saw a bunch of kids I didn’t know—but no teacher.
Suddenly, there was a booming voice, and I half jumped out of my seat.
“Hi, y’all! And welcome to your FIRST day at Elba Middle School!”
The voice was coming from a pair of speakers.
“Y’all can call me Miss Emmy Jo, and I’m your homeroom teacher.”
Miss Emmy Jo had big glasses, orange hair, and a sweater with a glittering, sequined pony on it. She was also just a face on a smartboard screen.
“Now, y’all may think it’s weird to have a teacher on a screen, but it’s part of a new wave in education,” Miss Emmy Jo said. “Remote instruction!”
“Cool!” the kid behind me whispered. “We can do whatever we want!”
Miss Emmy Jo’s bright blue eyes grew suddenly dark.
“No, you can not do whatever you want, Mr. Student Number Seventeen,” she said. “I may be sitting down here in Alabama, but I can spy you like a vulture spies a wounded field mouse!”
All the students suddenly got very quiet.
“I have a split-screen monitor right here with every student’s face on it,” Miss Emmy Jo said. “My hushed-voice recognition technology not only detects whispers at twenty decibels, but also who is making them!”
Miss Emmy Jo’s expression again suddenly switched, this time from a frown back into a big smile.
“I know we’re gonna have the best homeroom year ever! Go Fightin’ Mealworms!”
“Fightin’ Bookworms!” someone in the back yelled.
Miss Emmy Jo looked down at her notes. “Right,” she said. “Sorry about that, y’all! Skedaddle now, and have yourselves a great first day of school.”