When Taxi--a part Siamese who bills himself as a Ninja cat--joins the Walton household, the newly orphaned and perpetually indolent Huey is shaken to his basset hound roots; still, Taxi (accompanied by his best friend Sushi--a knotted leather string) brings adventure and excitement into Huey's life. Huey, a slightly stuffy canine, is ambivalent about Taxi's escapades with burglars, bulls, a raft, and bang gliding; but when Boots, a gorgeous stray cat, comes to live with them, Taxi's bravado vanishes in a cloud of jealousy. HIS animosity drives Boots away--until Huey helps him understand his feelings and arranges a chance for him to talk with Boots and persuade her to come home. Though the Waltons seem insensitive to the nature of cats (cleaning Taxi with a Dustbuster?) and the simplistic anthropomorphism annoys, this is generally a light, funny, cute story to be enjoyed without too much carping. On another level, LeRoy uses elements of allegory to illustrate dealing openly with feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. As Taxi tells Huey, ""Sometimes you have to go out and meet life halfway."" Ritz's many soft-pencil, full-page illustrations are unusually appealing.