I wouldn’t dare do that. You see, I love her. I love her enough to forgive her even the torture of the bath.
You do? Tell me how it feels. It makes me shiver all over, just to see her putting you in the water.
Alas.... Listen then, and pity me. Sometimes, when She’s come out of her tub with nothing on her but her skin, her soft hairless skin that I lick respectfully,—She spills out more warm water, throws in a brown brick which smells of tar, and calls, “Toby!” That’s enough! The soul quits my body; my legs shake under me. Something shines on the water—the picture of a window all twisted out of shape—it dances about and blinds me. She seizes me, poor swooning thing that I am, and plunges me in.... Ye Gods! From that time on I’m lost.... My one hope is in her. My eyes fasten themselves on hers, while a close warmth sticks to me like another skin on top of mine.... The brick’s all foamy now ... I smell tar ... my eyes and nostrils smart ... there are storms in my ears. She grows excited, breathes loud and fast, laughs, and scrubs me light-heartedly. At last She rescues me, fishing me out by the nape of my neck, I paw the air, begging for life; then comes the rough towel and the warm coverlet where, exhausted, I relish my convalescence....
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (deeply impressed)
Jove! The telling it alone!... But—you old sly-boots—didn’t I see her one day armed with a sponge standing over you, holding you down on the toilet table?
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (quite embarrassed, lashing his tail)
An old story! The long, fluffy hairs on my legs (which give them the outline of a Zouave’s) had somehow gotten dirty. She insisted upon washing me. I persuaded her that I suffered atrociously under the sponge....
What a fibber you are! Did She believe you?
‘Um ... at first. It was my own fault tho’ when She didn’t. Turned over on my back, I proffered the candid belly, the terrified and forgiving eyes of a lamb about to be sacrificed. I felt a slight coolness, nothing more. A fear that my sensibilities might be destroyed, took possession of me. My rhythmical wailings increased, then subsided, then went up again like the noise of the sea (you know the strength of my voice). I imitated the calf, the whipped child, the cat in the night, the wind under the door. Little by little I grew enraptured with my own song, so that long after She had finished soiling me with cold water I continued wailing, my eyes fixed on the ceiling. Then She laughed tactlessly and cried out, “You’re as untruthful as a woman!”