If Cats Were Philosophers…

What would happen if felines held a symposium? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many of you who are friends of my wife and I on Facebook might have seen us posting last week about our cat Shiro. I noticed recently that he wasn’t eating like he should be. He was normal in all other respects, but not really touching his food. We took him to the vet one day who tried to do some work but, well, Shiro isn’t that cooperative at the vet. (Fun fact. Playing a Catholic chant a friend sent us on the way calms him down which means I’m Protestant, my wife leans Orthodox, and our cat is apparently Catholic, or is that CATholic?)

The vet suspected it was a dental issue and we scheduled to bring him back the next day. Both days we had to catch him and put him in his kitty carrier which he was not happy about at all. The second day, they kept him for most of the day including some anesthesia so they could look at his teeth.

For the next couple of days, I was concerned. I noticed he wasn’t eating and he was sometimes vomiting and his litter box stunk more than usual. Through an app, I contacted a clinic that told me that it was at this point normal. Shiro had had some anesthesia and this can be a side-effect and now was not the time to worry. He was right. This morning, Shiro was right there when I woke up and wanting his breakfast.

Whenever this happens, I wonder what it would be like if cats were philosophers. What if Shiro is sitting at the vet while we’re away and pondering what is going on around him? What would he be saying?

“I could have sworn these people said they loved me, but this sure doesn’t seem like love to me! Why would these people put me in this enclosure where I cannot roam free and take me to this place? All these people I don’t know want to prod me and stick these sharp objects in me. I don’t know what they want. How can I trust them? These people who claim they love me meanwhile just sit by the side and watch and do nothing.”

I can easily picture a symposium of cats getting together talking about the evils of those put over them. All of them writing papers on how the evil overlords do not really love them and care for them. After all, why would they allow them to go through with something like this? (Especially getting fixed. Ouch!)

Every time we have to take Shiro to the vet, I ponder this. When we got him home, we had to give him some medicine from a syringe. My wife would hold him and I would try to squirt it in his mouth when she tried to open it. It certainly wasn’t easy. It’s not easy either when we have to give him his monthly flea medicine, but that at least doesn’t require forcing his mouth open.

I often ponder that I wish there was a way I could explain it to him, but the knowledge level between a cat and a human being is vast. It cannot really be bridged. We think in categories that cats cannot.

Yet at the same time, the questions I think Shiro could ask are often the questions we, including myself, can ask of God when evil takes place? The cat could say “If I was a human, I would not do this,” but we as humans know better. This is for Shiro’s good.

The difference between us and God is far greater than cats and ourselves. This is one reason evil really can get me emotionally, but doesn’t really persuade me as a problem for theism. If I have strong arguments that God exists and Jesus was raised from the dead, then I just have to accept evil as it is. I don’t understand the reality of it and I should fight against it, but it doesn’t really count against God for me.

And when we get set to take Shiro to the vet, I wish he would just be calm and trust us and when he’s there, I wish he’d do the same.

Maybe I should do the same with someone who knows better too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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