David Barr Kirtley's "Cats in Victory" (short story, religion, free): Crusaders spare the lives of world's last living "animals"
Good read on religious fanaticism, though based on well used tropes.
Story summary.Long ago, man had engineered animals into intelligent beings, to be used as soldiers - so we had catmen, dogmen, frogmen, ... Over the centuries, catmen came to dominate & decimated everything else, including men ("monkeymen"). They've a religion about it: "Cat", the creator, has decreed them to eliminate all other abominations.
This is the story of a couple of fanatic crusaders - Lion & Tiger, guided by young Lynx, hunting a couple of dogmen. On the way, they'll also end up awaking a "monkeyman" & his cat from hibernation; duo were apparently returning from the stars & their ship crashed. We will see the monkeyman engineer a situation, with Lynx' help, that will save his life & that of dogmen.
- Saki's "Tobermory" (download): Probably the most famous story about speaking cats. And a funny one too.
- Cordwainer Smith's "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell" is another well-known story featuring "catmen", I think.
- Howard L Myers' "Questor" (download): Uplifted goats intend to inherit the earth, now that man has gone out to space.
Unrelated to this post: For readers who have never read Myers before: Probably the best place to begin with him is "Out, Wit!" (download). It's not only among his best stories, it's among science fiction's best. But it's not very science fictional, & is a grim story.
Fact sheet.First published: Lightspeed, #1 (June 2010).
Download full text from publisher's site.