A fix-up novel.
When humans and kzinti met, the kzinti introduced themselves with a
scream-and-leap of joyous anticipation. But – surprise! – the monkey
boys and girls of Planet Earth not only fought back but won! How, how
could the Warrior Race have fallen prey to slinking cowardly (albeit
clever) leaf-eaters who didn't even possess weapons?
After long hard thought the Kzin have come up with an answers: the first time they didn't leap hard or fast enough! After all, no matter how clever the humans may be, they won't stand a chance if it all happens so suddenly that monkey cleverness never has a chance to come into play. So when Eric Saxtorph and his crew stumble across the secret of the Great Attack the kzinti are more than a little upset.
And when kzinti are upset, you know what they do...
Poul Anderson (1926–2001) was born in Pennsylvania of Scandinavian stock. He started publishing science fiction in 1947 and became one the great figures in the genre, serving as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winning many Hugo and Nebula awards, and also winning the Gandalf (Grand Master) Award.