The Cat, the Dog and the Tasty Meal

This is a story about a cat and dog who were the best of friends.

One day, the gentleman of the house decided to test the sincerity of this friendship, with rather unexpected results.

I had a cat and a dog, which became so attached to each other, that they would never willingly be apart. Whenever the dog got any choice morsel of food, he was sure to divide it with his whiskered friend. They always ate sociably out of one plate, slept in the same bed, and daily walked out together.

One day, wishing to put this apparently sincere friendship to the proof, I took the cat by herself into my room while I had the dog guarded in another apartment. I entertained the cat in a most sumptuous manner, being desirous to see what sort of meal she would make without her friend, who had previously been her constant table companion. The cat enjoyed the treat wtih great glee, and seemed to have entirely forgotten the dog.

I had eaten a partridge for dinner, half of which I intended to keep for supper. My wife covered it with a plate, and put it into a cupboard, the door of which she did not lock. The cat left the room, and I walked out upon business. My wife, meanwhile, sat at work in an adjoining apartment. When I returned home, she related to me the following circumstances:

The cat, having hastily left the dining room, went to the dog, and mewed uncommonly loud, and in different tones of voice; which the dog, from time to time, answered with a short bark. They then went both to the door of the room where the cat had dined, and waited till it was opened.

One of my children opened the door, and immediately the two friends entered the apartment. The mewing of the cat excited my wife’s attention. She rose from her seat, and stepped softly up to the door, which stood ajar, to observe what was going on. The cat led the dog to the cupboard which contained the partridge, pushed off the plate which covered it, and, taking out my intended supper, laid it before her canine friend, who devoured it greedily.

Probably the cat, by her mewing, had given the dog to understand what an excellent meal she had eaten, and how sorry she was that he had not participated in it; but, at the same time, had given him to understand that something was left for him in the cupboard, and persuaded him to follow her there.

Since that time I have paid particular attention to these animals, and am perfectly convinced that they communicate to each other whatever seems interesting to either.

Observations on the Language of Brutes by M. Weuzel.
From Biographical sketches and authentic anecdotes of quadrupeds by Thomas Brown (1831).

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