There it is again! An acci—Oh bother, I’ve had enough of that!
We’re going to change trains in ten minutes. How about the cat? He’ll never allow us to shut him up ...
We’ll see ... Suppose we put some meat in his basket?
Or perhaps petting would ...
(They approach the redoubtable KIKI and both speak together.)
Kiki, my beautiful Kiki, come jump on my knee, or on my shoulder. You like that as a rule. You’ll doze there and then I’ll put you gently into the basket. After all, it’s open-work and has a comfortable cushion to protect you from the rough wicker. Come, my dear....
Listen, Kiki. You must learn to act properly and to take life as it is. You can’t stay there like that. We’re going to change trains and a horrible guard will appear and say insulting things of you and your race. Besides you’d better obey, because if you don’t, I—I’ll give you a good whipping.
(But before she can lift her hand against his sacred fur, Kiki gets up, stretches himself, arches his back, yawns,—to show the rosy lining of his mouth, and then walks to the open basket where he lies down with an admirable air of quiet insolence. He and She exchange eloquent glances.)
A parlor, in the country, at the close of a long summer’s day. KIKI-THE-DEMURE and TOBY-DOG doze; ears twitching and eyelids obstinately shut. Now KIKI’S lids part in a narrow slit, and disclose eyes the color of purple grapes. He yawns, with the ferocious expression of a small dragon.
TOBY-DOG, (who was not really asleep)
I’m not; it’s you.
Impossible! I don’t snore, I purr.
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (not condescending to a discussion)
Thank heaven, it isn’t! (A silence.)
I’m hungry. One doesn’t hear the noise of plates in the next room. Isn’t it dinner time?
TOBY-DOG, (gets up, slowly stretches his forepaws and yawns, darting forth a heraldic tongue with curly end) I don’t know ... I’m hungry.
Where is She? How is it you’re not at her heels?
TOBY-DOG, (embarrassed, nibbling his nails)