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Sonnini And His Cat

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M. Sonnini, when in Egypt, had an Angora cat, of which he was extremely
fond. It was entirely covered with long white silken hairs; its tail
formed a magnificent plume, which the animal elevated at pleasure over its
body. Not one spot, nor a single dark shade, tarnished the dazzling white
of its coat. Its nose and lips were of a delicate rose colour. Two large
eyes sparkled in its round head: one was of a light yellow, and the other
of a fine blue.

This beautiful animal had even more loveliness of manners than grace in
its attitude and movements. However ill any one used her, she never
attempted to advance her claws from their sheaths. Sensible to kindness,
she licked the hand which caressed, and even that which tormented her. In
Sonnini's solitary moments, she chiefly kept by his side; she interrupted
him often in the midst of his labours or meditations, by little caresses
extremely touching, and generally followed him in his walks. During his
absence she sought and called for him incessantly. She recognised his
voice at a distance, and seemed on each fresh meeting with him to feel
increased delight.

"This animal," says Sonnini, "was my principal amusement for several
years. How was the expression of attachment depicted upon her countenance!
How many times have her caresses made me forget my troubles, and consoled
me in my misfortunes! My beautiful and interesting companion, however, at
length perished. After several days of suffering, during which I never
forsook her, her eyes, constantly fixed on me, were at length
extinguished; and her loss rent my heart with sorrow."

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