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"Society cannot progress unless there is creation of wealth," I tried to explain. But this only angered the cat. "Why would I concern myself with the society's progress if I don't have food to eat," it asked.

It was impossible to explain to the cat - it is impossible to explain to one who is sitting on judgement. This cat was a fair judge and a good debater and, hence, it had every right not to see things in any other way than its own. I could not be angry with the cat. "The poor may not be concerned about the society's progress, but the rich are especially concerned. Therefore, the thief has to be punished," I said.

Miss Cat said, "Hang the thief to death if you want, I have no objection to that. But make a law - the judge, deciding the case, should remain without food for three days before passing any sentence. If after going without food for three days he does not feel an intense urge to steal and eat, he can with a clear conscience sentence the thief to death. You had picked up a stick to hit me; why don't you go without food for three days to experience what it is to be hungry. If during these three days you are not caught stealing food from Nasiram Babu's house, you may use that stick as much as you want and I will not object."

Experts say that when you find yourself losing in a debate, you must assume a grave expression and impart advice to save your face. I took recourse to the experts' suggestion. "It is a sin to even indulge in such anti-social talk. You must abandon such thoughts and take to religion," I told the cat. "If you want, I can lend you books by Newman and Parker. It will also do you some good if you read my articles compiled in "Kamalakanta's files" - you will at least understand the creative prowess of opium. Now, you had better go. Prasanna had promised to give me something special with the meals; come back during meal time and we will share the food. And, yes, do not rob someone else in the meanwhile; if you feel very hungry you may come back earlier, I will give you some opium to eat."

"I don't have need for opium. But your advice against committing burglary can be acted upon only after considering the severity of my hunger," the cat said.

The cat took her leave, and Kamalakanta experienced a rush of happiness at the thought that he had been able to show light to a lost soul.

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