Hafiz and Thomas: Milk Apparatus

Here is a quote from Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. The setting is Mrs. Meyrick’s house (Mrs. Meyrick is the mother of Daniel Deronda’s friend Hans Meyrick), where she, her girls, Anna Gascoigne (Gwendolen Harleth’s cousin and Rex Gascoigne’s sister), and Mirah Lapidoth are assembled. Hafiz is the Meyricks’ cat.1

Mirah had lately come in, and there was a complete bouquet of young faces around the tea-table — Hafiz, seated a little aloft with large eyes on the alert, regarding the whole scene as an apparatus for supplying his allowance of milk. (Book VI — Revelations, Chapter LII.)

Hafiz reminds me of my family’s cat, Thomas Twp, at milking time. We used to have a milk cow. We milked her in the morning and in the evening, and Thomas would get a bowl of fresh milk every time. He would watch the milking rather impatiently, obviously considering all the work that we were doing “as an apparatus for supplying his allowance of milk”!

1 Hafiz is the Meyricks’ cat: “The only large thing of its kind in the room was Hafiz, the Persian cat, comfortably poised on the brown leather back of a chair, and opening his large eyes now and then to see that the lower animals were not in any mischief.” (Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, Book II — Meeting Streams, Chapter XVIII.)
Note: This post is part of a series of posts called ‘Of Literature and Life: A Series of Quotes‘.  The picture is of my family’s cat, Thomas Twp, licking the last drops of milk from his bowl.
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