I am so delighted by this series of children's' books by Esther Averill, the first of which was published in 1944. I have been reading them to the kids at bedtime and we are all so hooked on the adventures of Jenny Linsky, the shy little black cat (based on the author's own pet) who lives in New York City. I have found twelve of her thirteen stories (if you happen to come across a copy of Jenny's Bedtime Book, please let me know--I can only find two used copies on Amazon starting at $289!), and have loved them all.
The drawings of the cats are so sweet. Just check out Jenny ice skating on the cover, above. I would recommend these illustrated chapter books for kids four and up. Valerie can read them on her own, and Andrew is just lately satisfied listening with fewer pictures.
If you are in need of darling stories, without violence or malice (besides a few run-ins with dogs...), these books are perfect!