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( Originally Published 1928 )
MISS EDITH CARRINGTON who wrote "Workers Without Wage," after giving instances of cats going through fire and water to save their kittens says: "But the unselfish devotion of cats is not kept for their babies alone. They are capable of most passionate attachment to those who own and love them. They are faithful unto death, and come very little short of the dog, in proving this affection."
Miss Carrington believes that although a cat is quite as capable of affection as a dog, it is very sensitive and "will not, like the dog, show affection in spite of everything. If you neglect or ill-use a cat it will not fawn on you, but will run away whenever it sees you, or become the unlovable creature so many find her after they have made her so." It is quite clear to Miss Carrington that a cat will never prefer places to persons but it must have something to attach itself to, if not a person it must be a house. Miss Carrington tells of cats who had great attachment for her personally, and insisted upon following her in her walks out of doors, going with her everywhere.
A stray kitten that Miss Carrington took home was devoted to her and could not bear to be away from her. At one time she leaped from a window fourteen feet high to get to her. This same kitten was very clever in opening a door by holding to the handle with one fore paw, hitting the thumb piece with the other and kicking at the door-post with its hind legs until the door opened. The dogs would meanwhile stand by until the deed was done, and then they would rush through.
Miss Carrington's own cats have given her so much affection that was unselfish that she strongly objects to hearing them called "selfish" as so many people do.
She tells the story of a cat that became very uneasy when her mistress was ill and did not come to the dinner table. After awhile the cat jumped on the bed and presented her with a mouse; the next day she brought a piece of her own meat to the invalid, evidently thinking she was being starved; and until her mistress was able to resume her place at the dinner table she continued her solicitude. Another story is told of a cat whose owner was obliged to go away, and although the people with whom he was left were kind and attentive to him, offering him dainties, he would not eat but watched the front door all day. He pined away, and before his owner returned, had died.