So, I devoured the book, enjoying the imagery of the city (which most definitely the Detroit area and some Chicago too) and the interaction between Jim Qwilleran, a sort of down-on-his-luck newspaper writer, and a cat named Kao K'o-Kung - Koko for short. It was not until I had finished that first book, when I discovered that there was a series which finally reached 29 published books, with a few short stories thrown in for good measure.
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (1966)
The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (1967)
The Cat Who Turned On and Off (1968)
The Cat Who Saw Red (1986)
The Cat Who Played Brahms (1987)
The Cat Who Played Post Office (1987)
The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare (1988)
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (1988)
The Cat Who Went Underground (1989)
The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts (1990)
The Cat Who Lived High (1990)
The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal (1991)
The Cat Who Moved a Mountain (1992)
The Cat Who Wasn't There (1992)
The Cat Who Went into the Closet (1993)
The Cat Who Came to Breakfast (1994)
The Cat Who Blew the Whistle (1995)
The Cat Who Said Cheese (1996)
The Cat Who Tailed a Thief (1997)
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds (1999)
The Cat Who Saw Stars (1999)
The Cat Who Robbed a Bank (2000)
The Cat Who Smelled a Rat (2001)
The Cat Who Went up the Creek (2002)
The Cat Who Brought Down the House (2003)
The Cat Who Talked Turkey (2004)
The Cat Who Went Bananas (2005)
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell (2006)
The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (2007)
I had the good fortune to have a friend who owned the entire series, and she loaned me her books! I delightedly read each one in order, and it was a splendid way to get through the doldrums of that long-ago winter.
Time-traveling back to the present day, I found a audiobook while visiting the local library recently.
"The Private Life of the Cat Who...", by Lilian Jackson Braun, published in 2003. I immediately checked it out on my library card, and listened in my car. My mind instantly traveled back to those wonderful stories, about Koko and Yum Yum, and the crazy people Jim Qwilleran met in his travels. What a delightful little oasis of cat-based shenanigans to wile away my commute; I listened while driving to and from the office for a few days.
If you have not yet dipped your toe into "The Cat Who..." ocean, please give it a try! G-Rated, mostly, and the stories are easy enough to read, without starting at the beginning. Unfortunately, Lilian passed away before her final book was completed in 2011, but I believe this series will live on for a very, very long time.
P.S. My favorite book is "The Cat Who Saw Stars". Without giving anything away, the author weaves a story about the probability that cats are from outer space. Yep, you read that correctly!
P.S.S. I don't know why there is an white outline around my typing today; cannot make it disappear...goes to show that I'm better at blogging than being a computer geek!