The Countess lives in a sea of white cats who hang upon her every word, here looking up at her lovingly. Even her voice addressing them is likened to a purr.

‘Every luminous slit-pupilled eye was upon her. The only movement lay in the vibration in their throats. The voice of the Countess moved on like a laden ship upon a purring tide.’

For other voice related metaphors, see the old man of the Dwellers, the cats of the Countess, and the subtle charm of Odysseus’ voice

Source: Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan, introduction by Anthony Burgess (London: Vintage Books, 1998), p. 278

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