Lots and lots of splendid full-page pictures and double-spreads, beautifully reproduced in black and white, and drawn by Janice Holland, decorate this story of a five-year-old girl and her big black cat, who was fond enough of her owner to put up with such endearments as ""Honey"" and ""Sweety-pie"" and even such humiliations as being wheeled in a dull carriage and being rocked to sleep. In fact, after losing eight of his nine ulives in various horrifying adventures, he risks his ninth to save her. The story, which in most ways is a good one, is slightly marred by occasional suggestion of smarty adult humor, which creeps in when the cat talks. This may give it value more as a ""read aloud"" book than a book for second and third graders. The author is a novelist, his best known book being On Borrowed Time.