We call ourselves a dog’s “master” — but who ever dared call himself the “master” of a cat? We own a dog — he is with us as a slave and inferior because we wish him to be. But we entertain a cat — he adorns our hearth as a guest, fellow-lodger, and equal because he wishes to be there.
The meeting in the open of two dogs, strangers to each other, is one of the most painful, thrilling, and pregnant of all conceivabale encounters; it is surrounded by an atmosphere of the last canniness, presided over by a constraint for which I have no preciser name; they simply cannot pass each other, their mutual embarrassment is frightful to behold.
It is no compliment to be the stupidly idolised master of a dog whose instinct it is to idolise, but it is a very distinct tribute to be chosen as the friend and confidant of a philosophic cat who is wholly his own master and could easily choose another companion if he found such a one more agreeable and interesting.