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Then the Cat put out his paddy paw and patted the Baby on the cheek, and it cooed; and the Cat rubbed against its fat knees and tickled it under its fat chin with his tail. And the Baby laughed; and the Woman heard him and smiled.


This is from “The Cat that Walked by Himself” in Just So Stories.

The Dog and the Horse and the Cow have all agreed with the Man to serve him, but the Cat has remained aloof. Now the Cat is making his own bargain with the Woman, by winning her gratitude and with it the right to come into her cave, and sit by the fire, and drink the warm white milk.

But he is still the Cat that walks by himself, waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone, and all places are alike to him.