Like the comics Garfield or Heathcliff, the silver cat James, in this excruciatingly whimsical tale of a brainy feline, is a cat only in (what we interpret as) giant ego and vanity. Like his cartoon counterparts, James is merely an irritating human in fur-- but, unlike them, he has classy tastes. The narrator, an agent in the fine-arts business, meets James for the first time in his London apartment house. James, ``owned'' by the building's proprietor, pushes the elevator button to the correct floor. So then it's sharing whiskey (James prefers the best) and patÇ--and the adventures begin. James falls in love with a porcelain cat and recovers jewels for Lord Henry, whose romance with the painter Helena--her show is rescued by James, who paints her an abstract piece--has a happy ending in the ancestral home. James spots a false Constable, works for a stamp expert and detects forgeries, evicts obnoxious tenants, appears on TV in Puss 'n Boots, puts in a day or so as an Egyptian god, etc. etc. Ho-hum. An iffy item for the cat fancier (depends on one's whimsy quotient), and a maybe (the fine-arts milieu is rather special) as a juvenile crossover.