After reading about 1/3 of the CS2/Digital Photography for Dummies, I have gotten some great advice, and suggestions. I ended up getting the Noise Ninja plugin for Photoshop, seeing as I like doing low light compositions.
I used Noise Ninja on one of my ‘Silver Tabby Kitten’ pictures, and it fixed the problem with a shirt being all speckled due to noise.
Turns out I have been going in the right direction with my camera usage and settings. But there were some things and issues I was having that have now been cleared up and well explained.