Socks, by Beverly Cleary, and first published in 1973. Seen here in the William Morrow and Company version illustrated by Tracy Dockray.
Let me begin this review with a revelation: I hate cats. Let me also give a review spoiler: I loved this book. My loving this book came as a surprise to myself.
I am in the middle of reading out most of the Beverly Cleary books (there are a lot of them) to my kids. I have already reviewed the Ramona series and the Henry Huggins series, as well as Muggie Maggie. We have a number of the books, mostly in the Ramona series, and we have been adding to them from the library. Socks was one of the Cleary books that we did not have but the library did. So we snagged it, despite my distaste of the feline.
Surprise! This book is perhaps the best animal fiction that I have ever read. I felt both like I was utterly human and also in the head of Socks as I read it. There is some personification going on, yet it remains true to the nature of cats. The book was funny and sensitive, well written and interesting. Seriously, I would highly recommend it for young readers or for family reading time.
I would also highly recommend it for families of a small child which are adding on a second soon, since the book deals with a coddled cat who is being usurped by a new baby.
Even though it does not tie into Klickitat Street and all the other Cleary characters, I think this is a standalone gem.