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‘Opinionated,’ Morgo said at last.

‘Me, you mean? On the subject?’

‘No, I mean cats. And self-centred.’

Angrily, Provoni said, ‘A cat is loyal to its master. But it shows it in a subtle way. That’s the whole point, a cat gives himself to no one, and this has been his way for millions of years, and then you manage to knock a chink in his armor, and he rubs against you and sits on your lap and purrs. So, because of his love for you, he breaks the inherent genetic behaviour-pattern of two million years. What a victory that is.’

‘Assuming the cat is sincere,’ Morgo said, ‘rather than trying to cadge extra food.’

‘You think a cat can be hypocrite?’ Provoni asked. ‘I’ve never heard an insinuation of insincerity directed toward cats. Actually, much of the criticism comes from their brutal honesty; if they don’t like a person then shit, they’re off to someone else.’

Philip K. Dick, Our Friends from Frolix 8, 1969 (p. 125)

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