KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (sitting up, his eyes pale from the light and sleepiness)
Well, you’ve succeeded in waking me. That’s all you wanted, isn’t it? My dreams are gone! These flies that you’re pursuing—I hardly felt their little teasing feet through my thick fur. The merest touch, like a caress, now and then thrilled along the silky sloping hairs which clothe me.... But then you never act with any discretion. Your vulgar gayety is a nuisance, and when sad you howl like a low comedian.
_ If you woke up just to tell me that—
Of course you’ll remember ’twas you woke me.
I was so uncomfortable, I wanted someone to help me, to give me a word of encouragement....
I don’t know any digestive words.
Fancy their giving me a bad character when ... Just examine your conscience a bit and compare us. Hunger and heat wear you out and drive you mad; cold makes your blood curdle....
Mine is a sensitive nature.
A demoniacal nature, you mean!
No, I don’t mean that. You—you’re a monstrous egoist.
Perhaps.... You and the Two-Paws don’t understand what you’re pleased to call a cat’s egoism.... Our instinct of self-preservation, our dignity, our modest reserve, our attitude of weary renunciation (which comes of the hopelessness of ever being understood by them), they dub, in haphazard fashion, egoism. You’re not a very discriminating dog, but at least you’re free from prejudice. Will you understand me better? A cat is a guest in the house, not a plaything. Truly these are strange times we’re living in! The Two-Paws, He and She, have they alone the right to be sad or joyful, to lick plates, to scold, or to go about the house indulging their capricious humors? I too have my whims, my sorrows, my irregular appetite, my hours of reverie when I wish to be alone....
TOBY-DOG, (attentive and conscientious)
I’m listening, but I can hardly follow what you say. It’s so complicated—a bit over my head, you know. But you astonish me! Are they in the habit of hindering you in your changeful moods? You mew, and they open the door. You lie on the paper—the sacred paper He’s scratching on—He moves away, marvelous condescension!—and leaves you his soiled page. You meander up and down his scratching table, obviously in quest of mischief, your nose wrinkled up, your tail giving quick little jerks back and forth like a pendulum. She watches you laughing, while He announces “the promenade of devastation.” How then, can you accuse Them—