Per H. P. Lovecraft, an American author:  "Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you.  Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. ---  The cat charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour.  That is personality and individuality and self-respect -- the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours --  he (the cat) is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense." 


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