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”!