The Pet Thief is a dystopian fable of science, rebellion, humankind's inhumanity, and the struggle for identity and survival in a post-human world. When scientists, the government, and venture capitalists conspire to hybridize humans with animals—cats, specifically—for organ harvesting, drug testing, and military applications, the experiment is an irredeemable failure, producing human-like beings with uncanny abilities who are nonetheless fundamentally defective. Oboy and his mentor/tormentor Freda are two wayward hybrids, “cat people,” who have escaped with others to the depths of a rundown European city being leveled for reconstruction. They are members of a street gang led by an ominous leader called Swan. Oboy is unable to think or speak except in mimicry, but he is a physical savant, which serves Freda's mission. Enraged at what has been done to her, Freda wants to “rescue” every pet she can. When Oboy returns with a human baby after his first solo outing, their world and the truths of their existence come unraveled.