I remember this woman who was weeping one night… She was at friends’. They were talking of their children, giving news of them. And she simply said: “My little cat has died.” And she started crying… In a corner of the sitting room, a man had told another, shrugging, “It’s only a cat, really!”
It’s only a cat! But it is great, a cat, don’t you know, sir? It’s great… You don’t have a cat, of course, so you cannot know we can feel, when our cat is gone forever, as much sorrow as for a child… Those who don’t have a cat believe it is sacrilegious… You cannot compare, can you?
Of course you do not know, sir, you do not know what large a part a cat is in a person’s life – its golden eyes and their everlasting gaze, its soft paw laid on your hand, its graceful and beautiful movements expressing different sensations, feelings, its round and hard head pushing on your temple to tell you “I love you too.”
All that you don’t know, sir, and you miss something. Should I pity you or be jealous of you? You don’t shiver when it coughs, or sneezes, or refuses to eat, when it comes home after a fight and we search its fur for bites or scratches, when it is late at night and we don’t know if, in the street, a stupid driver has thrown it against a wall, dismantled, broken…
But, sir, you’ll never know, of course, the bliss of a free reciprocal love. Because cats, sir, are not what some people say: they are tender, good, faithful, clear-headed, bright, they are gentle et they tell you things… So many things!
I would have like to hold this woman in my arms, this woman I hardly knew. She was crying and I would have liked to say to her: “I can understand you… Cry as long as you wish, cry taking no notice of other people. They don’t know but I do!”