KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (mysterious, eyes half-closed)
Not at all. It’s character, simply. A Cat’s character. In such moments of irritability, I’m keenly alive to the humiliation of my present state, and that of my race.
I can remember a time when priests in long, linen tunics, bending low, spoke to us and humbly tried to comprehend our chanted utterance. Know, dog, that it is not we who have changed! It may be, there are days when I’m more myself, when everything offends me, and justly; a brusque gesture, a vulgar laugh, the banging of a door, your odor, your inconceivable impudence when you touch me, or encircle me, jumping and yelping ...
TOBY-DOG, (patiently, to himself)
He’s having one of his attacks.
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (with a start)
Did you hear?
Yes, the kitchen door, and the door into the dining-room ... and now the drawer where the spoons are kept. At last! At last! aaah! (He yawns.) I can’t stand this any longer. Where is She? I don’t hear the gravel creaking ... night’s coming on!
Go find her.
And how about Him? He usually worries, and comes in asking, “Where is She?” But He’s scratching still. He must have drunk up all the violet-colored water in the muddy little pot by this time. (TOBY carefully stretches his legs.) Ah! I feel lively ... and empty. We’re going to eat soon! Just smell the good kitchen-smells that come under the door!... Let’s play!
Run, I’ll chase, without touching you.
I don’t want to.
Oh! but you’re tiresome! Watch me jump and arch my neck like a little horse and try to catch my stubby tail. Now I turn ’round and ’round—and—heavens! the whole room spins!—It’s—st—opping—now.
Insufferable yourself! Look out, I’m going to run at you as She does, when She’s merry, crying “Ha, cat!”
(KIKI-THE-DEMURE, without rising, puts up a paw bristling with claws and spotted underneath with rose color and black; it looks like a thorny flower.)
If you dare!...