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I read this book a long time ago (perhaps around the mid-1980's) and I'm looking for it again. I'm pretty sure the author was C.J.Cherryh (but I'm not 100% positive of that).
The story took place on a planet where a single human boy was brought up by an adult male humanoid in a house in isolation, taught to be self-sufficient and to hide his emotions, etc. Once he reached puberty, he was brought out to train with other young adults of the native humanoid population of the planet. I remember that the natives had fur, but I don't remember whether they were feline in nature or what. I remember that one of the boys he was training with was getting teased because his juvenile spotted fur hadn't all gone away yet (like a lion cub has spotted fur that fades as it matures).
The truth of the situation was finally revealed to the boy at the end of the book. It turned out that a ship had crashed on their planet, with a single human adult male pilot, who had been killed on impact. The natives cloned the dead man -- that clone being the boy they raised. Once he was old enough, his assignment was to figure out how to pilot the earth ship that had crashed (which the natives had repaired) and to fly it off their planet to make contact with other humans or something.
Does anybody recognize this book and can tell me what it is?