After the inevitable history of the cat -- from the Egyptians through Cardinal Mazarin who was ""fond of cats of all ages"" -- the author offers some sound advice, some unrealistic procedures, and considerable propaganda for pedigreed felines. Mr. Raymond is justifiably insistent on careful evaluation of the health and disposition of a prospective purchase and fierce discrimination in selecting pet shops and, above all, veterinarians. He also emphasizes the importance of good food, and sensible living arrangements. Where he errs, however, is in the grooming section, a common failing of pet manual writers -- ear cleaning and claw clipping all too often inflict wounds on both sides, and bathing in the hands of an amateur can be a nightmare. There's not much about ""discipline,"" but cat owners will know why. Raymond winds up with profiles of popular pedigreed cats and there are 120 color photographs to set the fancy purring.