Copyright © 2007 Henrietta W. Hay
The Mystery of Cats
March 2, 2007
My friend the philosopher thinks that cats are mystical creatures, that in their contemplative moods they encourage humans to think deep thoughts also.
My experience has been that cats think ahead only as far as their next meal, but that they give great comfort and pleasure in the present.
When my friend, Mercury the Wonder Cat, stares at me, which he does a great deal of the time, I had never thought that he had anything on his mind beyond telling what he wants me to do for him. Often he wants me to get away from the computer and sit down so that he can settle on my lap to be petted and go to sleep.
But what if he is really asking me to sit down and join him on his mystical journey? In any case, it is very relaxing for me and often a new thought does emerge during the relaxation.
I have had a number of cats in my life, including one when I started writing this column. He was a beautiful Siamese whose name was Socrates. He was followed by another Siamese, Antigone. And now I have Mercury. Hmmm: a Greek philosopher, a Greek heroin and a Greek God. Wonder whether I really was destined to be a writer. Maybe I should take that stare a little more seriously.
But I enjoyed them all for their affection and playfulness and companionship. If they had any spiritual thoughts I never knew it.
I know a couple of cats locally. Sugar is a mystical cat, or at least her hum claims that she is. She may well be, but I have never been able to look deeply into her eyes. She had a rough kitten hood and is very shy. She remains hidden when strangers are around.
Brenda lives with another friend of mine. She is a very friendly, loving cat, but she has acquired the bad habit of waking her human at 3:00 am and demanding food. I do not think she is very mystical.
Mystical or not, cats are wonderful company and have been the pets many really important people.
Winston Churchill always took his tabby with him to War Room meetings. Can't you just see that tabby sitting up straight beside him, telling hm how to win the war? Wait a minute. Maybe that one really was mystical.
Harriett Beecher Stowe had her cat Calvin on her shoulder as she wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Rita Mae Brown wrote several "Mrs. Murphy" mysteries with Sneaky Pie Brown. He and Mrs. Murphy are her cats and both are excellent literary detectives. They were obviously practical felines, I wish I could teach Mercury to type.
My friends and I who are cat lovers have often discussed what goes on in that teeny tiny cat brain that weighs only 30 grams. My friend the philosopher argues that Mercury wants me to look deeply into his eyes and worship him and he will allow me on this mystical journey. I will feel better ad he will appreciate the company.
Well, I don't care whether Mercury is mystical or not. He is my friend and he can think whatever he wants to. He is soft and loving and gentle. Maybe when hen he stares at me he is saying, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."