TOBY-DOG, (alert, looking at her)
No ... She didn’t stir, but her thoughts did. I felt them. Continue.
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (who has recovered his equanimity)
I don’t know now what we were talking about.
Enough. Don’t recall it. Fever is the beginning of the thing one never speaks of.
Yes, I know.... I don’t like an animal that can’t move. You know what I mean ...
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (laughing cruelly)
Nor do I. I can only eat live birds, and as for the tiny mice, I prefer to swallow them, squeak and all....
Why does it amuse you to horrify me? You’ve a certain vanity that I can’t understand. It consists in exaggerating cruelties that are already real enough. You call me the last of the Romanticists, aren’t you the first of the Sadics?
Oh dog, poisoned with literature! An eternal misunderstanding separates us. “I’m a little bull-dog,” you replied just now, with that stupid sincerity which disarms me. Let me say to you in my turn, “I am a Cat.” The name is sufficient dispensation. There is in me a hatred of pain and ugliness, an overmastering detestation of all that offends my sight, or my reason. When the concierge’s cat dragged around his wounded paw, I threw myself upon him, fired by a righteous anger, and until he stopped his whining I—
Don’t tell me!
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (getting angry) Understand then, once and for all—if the pale recital of what I did upsets you—that I wished to abolish, to annihilate in that bleeding animal the suggestion of my own inevitable death ...
(They are quiet for a little while.)
This confinement does us no good. I would gladly go out into the soft sunshine and do “the bayadeer’s dance,” as He calls it, on the dry gravel among the leaves, which look like fried potatoes. Everything is yellow out-of-doors. My green eyes would reflect the golden sun and the flaming woods and so turn yellow too.... Now I’ll think only of what is joyous and yellow, the beautiful, cold Autumn, the rosy dawn that leaves its colors in the foliage of the cherry-tree ... Come, let’s prove the strength of our legs and enjoy to the full the consciousness that youth has only just begun for us ... Who knows, death may never come ...