Let Take A Cat
Wherever you go, they’ll be there: curled up in a shady corner beside the hearth, strolling across the roof-beams without a care in the world, or stealing the cream from the milk pail when they think nobody’s looking!
Since the reign of the late King Edward, if you take a sea voyage you’ll find one on the ship, clawing at a coil of rope until someone notices (and if the ship should be wrecked and all the crew lost, but the ship’s cat survive, the cargo may not be plundered by “wreckers”). The inn where you stay on your way home might have two or three, collecting scraps from the kitchen whenever they present the remains of another mouse, and perhaps one or two more living happily in the stables, beside the horses, taking advantage of a soft-hearted stable-lad to sleep sharing their warmth until the urge to hunt rouses them.
As the saying has it, dogs have their owners. But cats employ staff. They can take you or leave you. If you want to sit beside the window and read, or even just page through a book of emblems they’ll come and settle in your lap, spend five minutes grooming, perhaps turn around three times before deciding they’re comfortable and laying down.
Or they might sit on the fence post in the sun under the hazel tree by the back door, pointy ears turning first one way, then the other as they watch the robin that dares to come down and explore the yard by the kitchen door. But robins are hardly worth the effort of catching, that one can go.
They might be gone for three days at a time when spring comes, but as soon as the weather turns colder and damp and the trees shed their green coats, they know exactly where to find the warmest places in the house!