Although she has inherited some of the caprice and headstrong tendencies of her mother, Catherine Linton demonstrates a tenderness and solicitude toward others not seen in her mother, qualities instilled in her by her genteel father Edgar who has raised her with loving care. About their relationship, Bronte writes,
...it (little Cathy) formed to him a distinction from the mother, and yet, a connection with her; and his attachment sprang from its relation to her, far more than from its being his own.
In Chapter 19, after being called to his sister's side, Edgar Linton returns from having buried her with her frail son Linton. Gentle Miss Cathy hopes to be able to make him her little companion/pet, but Heathcliff demands as a father that Linton be returned to him.
In Chapter 21, Cathy and Nellie go to the moors where the girl has seen the nests of grouse and wants to discover if they have laid their eggs; however, the child ventures so far as to be on Heathcliff's land. When he learns from Nellie who the girl is, he coerces them to come to his home and tells Cathy see can meet his son. When she sees Linton, she does not recognize him as he has grown much taller; however, when she is told who he is, she is elated. But, the frail Linton does not want to go outdoors with Cathy, so Heathcliff calls Hareton in and the two cousins venture out around the farm. As Hareton seems to be studying his familiar landscape,
Catherine took a sly look at him, expressing small admiration. She then turned her attention to seeking out objects of amusement for herself, and tripped merrily on, lilting a tune to supply the lack of conversation.
When weak little Linton finally summons enough energy to join the children outside, Catherine has asked Hareton the meaning of the inscription over the door, but he tells her he cannot read. Linton laughs and informs Miss Cathy that Hareton has not bothered to learn his letters. "Could you believe in the existence of such a colossal dunce?" Cathy wonders if Hareton is mentally handicapped or simply illiterate, and Linton replies there is nothing wrong but his lack of desire to learn. This response is difficult for the refined Cathy to even understand. While the children are outside, Heathcliff delights in telling Nellie of his exploitation of the boys for his own ends. Thus it becomes clear to the reader that Heathcliff yet plans revenge for being rejected by the Lintons and cast out after his beloved Catherine's death.