Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mission from God

We recently attended a fundraiser for FurKids. I can say with a measure of certainty that most of those in attendance were cat people, and since cats were the one thing we all had in common, cats were the main topic of discussion, at least at our table. Non-cat people don't understand how cat people can talk for hours about cats. Dog people will talk at length about dogs, of course, but eventually they move on to other topics, their attention span being much like a dog's, short. Cat people are more focused, beginning and ending most conversations with something about cats.

I can't explain why it is I like cats. I'm not fanatical about them; I just like them. Part of my fondness for them might stem from the fact that the domesticated cat is the only animal that we have been unable to truly domesticate. Every single cat has the urge to hunt. Some are better at it than others, but all cats are all born with that instinct intact. We haven't been able to breed the wild out of cats.

That unwillingness to bow to the human animal is one reason why the cat has been and is far more demonized than the dog. Despite there being more cat than dog owners in the U.S., cats are more often victims of abuse, torture and basic maliciousness than dogs. Once in the backwoods of Canon City, CO, I stumbled upon a grey tabby that had been strung-up with a wire. Last year there was a story about a cat that had been nailed by its paw to a utility pole, and the case of a man throwing a kitten on a grill made international headlines in 2002. Urban and rural hicks like to boast about how if they see a cat in the road, they speed up. I like to believe that only the in-bred among us find that funny. And just yesterday while on my way to work, I saw the still madly twitching body of a kitten on the inside lane of I-285. It would have been impossible for a cat that young to cross four lanes of rush hour traffic, only to get hit in the fifth, so it either escaped from a moving car, or more likely, was thrown from one.

Cats are my calling. What that exactly means remains to be seen, but it's now clear to me the meaning of my life. Cats are my mission, and I shall carry it out with religious zeal. You will, I hope, forgive me if I digress little from that mission and, perhaps, forget that you exist. When we do talk again, I will try and speak of non-cat things, but don't be surprised if I let slip something about cats into our conversation. You should expect nothing less.

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