Little Fuzzy is the name of a 1962 science fiction novel by H. Beam Piper, and is now in public domain. It is generally seen as a work of juvenile fiction. It was nominated for the 1963 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
The story revolves around determining whether a small furry species discovered on the planet Zarathustra? is sapient, and features a mild libertarianism that emphasizes sincerity and honesty.
Protagonist Jack Holloway lives a solitary life in a wilderness of planet Zarathustra, itself "owned" by the Chartered Zarathustra Corporation (under Victor Grego), which installed basic services and colonial outposts initially, and now reaps the benefits of new discoveries, such as the valuable 'sunstones' mined by Holloway until he befriends a tiny, feline-like humanoid, nicknamed 'Little Fuzzy', and its traveling-companions.
Upon discovery that the 'Fuzzies' intelligence is equal to human, the Company intervenes against them, on grounds that such a discovery would declare the planet a protected aboriginal zone, and deprive the Chartered Zarathustra Company of rights to the resources there. Leonard Kellogg, one of Grego's staff, kills a Fuzzy and thus provokes a court case to decide whether the Fuzzies are sapient. In the midst of the proceedings, the Terran Navy commander reveals that his people have been studying Fuzzies, and prove that Fuzzies have at least the mental capacity of a ten-year-old human child. At once, the Charter of the Zarathustra Company is invalidated, and Kellogg commits suicide in his cell.