For years I've been dedicatedly buying my grandmother (who's now in her 90'S) Lillian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who... (fill in the rest of the title here) series. I got so I had to carry a list in my wallet of all the ones I had bought her so I didn't end up getting duplicates.
Following the detecting adventures of Yum Yum, KoKo and their owner, retired reporter, James Qwilleran, the series is a lighthearted variety of mystery novel. Yum Yum and KoKo, as you may have guessed, are James' highly intelligent Siamese cats. I would consider the premise amusingly outlandish if I didn't have supremely enterprising and unfortunately genius level pets my self. One of my cats did turn on the TV this morning, and among their many talents Cheddar has also dimmed our lights for us on a couple of occasions. No. Seriously. He walked up the couch to the dimmer switch, dialed it half way back, and walked away. I'm pretty sure if I was so inclined my cats would gladly join me in a little bit of mystery solving.
Although still on my too be read list, the books have become wildly popular among my small family, each one being passed back and forth between my grandma, grandpa (while he was still alive) and my mom. All of them thought they were funny, enjoyable light reads. With 29 books to date, there's a lot of rainy days worth of reading!
So if your looking for an excellent gift, or a lighthearted read for yourself, keep The Cat Who.....series in mind.