A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.
Another cat? Perhaps. For love there is also a season; its seeds must be resown. But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.
My definition of a philosopher is of a man up in a balloon, with his family and friends holding the ropes which confine him to earth and trying to haul him down.
__Louisa May Alcott, in Life, Letters, and Journals, ed. E.D. Cheney, 1889