Cats--with their grace and insouciant independence--are endlessly fascinating. Last year Livingston and Hyman produced an entrancing anthology devoted to them (Cat Poems); this volume, with 42 poems--only four of them included in the earlier book--is, if possible, even more beguiling. Larrick, long a well-loved anthologist, has made a frae selection of high-quality, appealing verse--some of it familiar, to be sure, but combining to make a grand gallery of sharply distinguished characters. Young returns from his flamboyantly colored recent work to muted cat-tones on paperbag tan, creating a splendid series of portraits and moments of captured action. His soft technique recalls Clare Newberry's cats, but his cats are far more distinguished in subtlety and artistry. This is also a splendidly designed book, the text printed now white, now black, as suits the design. A must--to treasure, to share. Indexes.