TOBY-DOG, (with conviction)
That was annoying.
I was angry with her the entire afternoon.
Oh, as to sulking, you do your share! I never can. I forget injuries.
You lick the hand that chastens you. Oh it’s well known!
I lick the hand that—yes, that’s it exactly.—An awfully pretty expression.
Not mine.... Dignity doesn’t trouble you any! My word! I’m often ashamed for you. You love everybody. You take all sorts of rebuffs without even raising your back. You’re as pleasant and as banal as a public garden.
TOBY-DOG Don’t you believe it, you ill-bred cat! You think you know everything and you don’t understand simple politeness. Frankly now, would you have me snarl at His or Her friends’ heels,—well-dressed people who know my name (lots of people I don’t know know my name) and good-naturedly pull my ears?
I hate new faces.
I don’t love them either—whatever you say. I love—Her and Him.
And I, Him—and Her.
Oh, I guessed your preference long ago. There’s a sort of secret understanding between you two—
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (smiling mysteriously and abandoning himself to his reverie)
An understanding, yes—secret and profound. He rarely speaks but makes a noise like a mouse, scratching his paper. It’s for Him I’ve treasured up my little heart, my precious cat’s heart, and He, without words, has given me his. This exchange makes me happy and reserved. Now and then with that pretty, wayward, ruling instinct which makes us cats rivals of women, I try my power over him. When we are alone, I point my ears forward devilishly as a sign that I’m about to spring upon his scratching paper. The tap, tap, tap of my paws straight through pens and letters and everything scattered about, is addressed to him as well as the insistent miauling when I beg for liberty. “Hymn to the Door-Knob,” He laughingly calls it, or “The Plaint of the Sequestered Cat.” The tender contemplation of my inspiring eyes is for him alone; they weigh on his bent head, until the look I’m calling searches and meets mine in a shock of souls, so foreseen and so sweet, that I must needs close my lids to hide the exquisite shyness I feel.
As for Her, she flutters about too much, often jostles me, holds my paws together and rocks me in the air, pets me in excited fashion, laughs aloud at me, imitates my voice too well—