A person has other concerns, but at each moment in its life, a cat has only one concern. This is what gives it such perfect balance, and this is why the spectacle of a confused or frightened cat upsets us: we feel both pity and the desire to laugh. It faces the source of danger or confusion and its only recourse is to spit a foul breath out between its mottled gums.

Lydia Davis, “The Cats in the Prison Recreation Hall”, in Almost No Memory