I love in the cat that independent and almost ungrateful temper which prevents him from attaching himself to anyone; the indifference with which he passes from the salon to the housetop. When you caress it, it stretches itself out and arches its back, indeed; but that is caused by physical pleasure, not, as in the case of the dog, by a silly satisfaction in loving and being faithful to a master who returns thanks in kicks. The cat lives alone, has no need of society, does not obey except when it likes, and pretends to sleep that it may see the more clearly, and scratches everything that it can scratch.

[J’aime dans le chat, ce caractère indépendant et presque ingrat qui le fait ne s’attacher à personne, cette indifférence avec laquelle il passe des salons à ses gouttières natales; on le caresse, il fait gros dos; mai c’est un plaisir physique qu’il éprouve, et non, comme le chien, une niaise satisfaction d’aimer et d’être fidèle à un maître qui l’en remercie à coups de pied. Le chat vit seul, il n’a nul besoin de société, il n’obéit que quand il veut, fait l’endormi pour mieux voir, et griffe tout ce qu’il peut griffer.]

François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) French writer, politican, diplomat
In Comte de Marcellus, Chateaubriand et son Temps (1859)
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Added on 17-Nov-20 | Last updated 17-Nov-20
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