How does the cat act during Old Major's speech in Animal Farm?

Quick answer:

The cat purrs contentedly throughout Old Major's speech in Animal Farm. Despite this, she's not actually listening to a word of what he's saying. All she seems to care about is that she's got a nice, warm, comfortable place between Boxer and Clover.

Expert Answers

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All of the animals on the farm are assembled in the barn to listen to Old Major's big speech, which will set out a number of very important principles concerning the political ideology of Animalism.

However, not all the animals that have gathered are paying much attention to what he's saying. The cat most certainly isn't. It was obvious before Old Major had even opened his mouth that she wasn't all that interested in the contents of his speech. She'd shown her indifference by calmly sauntering into the barn without a care in the world; it's notable that she was the last animal to arrive.

And when she finally does show up, all she seems to care about is finding the warmest place in the barn, which she promptly does by squeezing herself into a nice cozy spot between Boxer and Clover.

Once there, she purrs contentedly right throughout Old Major's speech. Only she's not actually listening to a word he's saying. He might as well not be making a speech at all, as far as she's concerned. All that matters to her is that she's warm and comfortable.

The cat's evident lack of interest in political affairs is further illustrated by the fact that she votes both yes and no in answer to the question "Are rats comrades?"

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