Issue 89, Fall 1983
For what our friend Madame de Rocattefours, herself gaining all simplicities with age, calculated to be almost a month, the cat had been languishing; as the days flooded with spring and nervously passed it took pleasure in sitting to watch the light stream through the bank of laced windows, its nostrils flaring and acquiescing. All of the cat’s ribs were visible by now, and they quivered when it heaved to take in air like the run strings of a warped harp. The cat paid no attention to people now. The parlor maid took care to sweep around it when it did not move. The maid swept carefully beneath the sofa in the living room, where the cat crawled in the late afternoons. All through the prolongation of sunset the cat would be crawling in the direction of the sofa, breathing almost with despair. The scullery maid discovered that the cat could be urged to nibble on tiny morsels of very well-cooked egg yolk. When Mme. de Rocattefours was informed of this, she immediately took heart and made conversation of the cat’s eagerness to everyone who visited for coffee. From Mme. de Rocattefours herself the cat was inspired to take several drops of fresh cream. At dinnertime, the cat could be seen stepping purposefully toward the bathroom and pausing frequently to set its breath again.