Most people think that the cat is an unintelligent animal, fond of ease, and caring little for anything but mice and milk. But a cat has really more character than most human beings, and gets a great deal more satisfaction out of life. Of all the animal kingdom, the cat has the most many-sided chara...
<p>Most people think that the cat is an unintelligent animal, fond of ease, and caring little for anything but mice and milk. But a cat has really more character than most human beings, and gets a great deal more satisfaction out of life. Of all the animal kingdom, the cat has the most many-sided character.</p>
<p>He – or she – is an athlete, a musician, an acrobat, a Lothario, a grim fighter, a sport of the first water. All day long the cat loafs about the house, takes things easy, sleeps by the fire, and allows himself to be pestered by the attentions of our womenfolk and annoyed by our children. To pass the time away he sometimes watches a mouse-hole for an hour or two – just to keep himself from dying of ennui; and people get the idea that this sort of thing is all that life holds for the cat. But watch him as the shades of evening fall, and you see the cat as he really is.</p>
<p>When the family sits down to tea, the cat usually puts in an appearance to get his share, and purrs noisily, and rubs himself against the legs of the family; and all the time he is thinking of a fight or a love-affair that is coming off that evening. If there is a guest at table the cat is particularly civil to him, because the guest is likely to have the best of what is going. Sometimes, instead of recognizing this civility with something to eat, the guest stoops down and strokes the cat, and says, “Poor pussy! poor pussy!”</p>
<p>The cat soon tires of that; he puts up his claw and quietly but firmly rakes the guest in the leg.</p>
<p>“Ow!” says the guest, “the cat stuck his claws into me!” The delighted family remarks, “Isn’t it sweet of him? Isn’t he intelligent? <em>He wants you to give him something to eat.</em>”</p>
<p>The guest dares not do what he would like to do – kick the cat through the window – so, with tears of rage and pain in his eyes, he affects to be very much amused, and sorts out a bit of fish from his plate and hands it down. The cat gingerly receives it, with a look in his eyes that says: “Another time, my friend, you won’t be so dull of comprehension,” and purrs maliciously as he retires to a safe distance from the guest’s boot before eating it. A cat isn’t a fool – not by a long way.</p>
<p>When the family has finished tea, and gathers round the fire to enjoy the hours of indigestion, the cat slouches casually...