What Can We Really Teach? Just when I thought it was safe to venture out of the house, in Fauci-mask-free mode; and still not overly concerned about the local field office of the FBI appearing on my doorstep because I registered with the GOP after attending a local school board meeting, I find myself confronted with one of life’s (maybe) insoluble problems. To wit, my outdoor patio experience with my cat has led me to ask, how does one impart values, moral relativism and behavioral guidelines to a cat? WTF? Okay, I know, I get that it sounds completely unimportant; but it’s more important than what it appears at first blush. Let’s start at the beginning.
Sometime back, the fourth First Lady began her campaign of not-so-subtle persuasion, using both subliminal and overt advertorial messaging about the benefits of having a cat in the house. “All real Russian households have a cat”. Don’t jump to conclusions; the fourth First Lady was born and raised in Ukraine, attending university in Russia and matriculating with an engineering degree (Red Diploma). I met her in gourmet pizza grill in a suburb of Las Vegas, but’s that’s fodder for another post (maybe). Her suggestions about adopting a pet cat, built upon ongoing suggestions, employed messaging that made How to Win Friends and Influence People look like a pre-historic version of Debates for Dummies. Did I mention that Russian’s can be somewhat intransigent?
“Richard Edward, did you know that”:
- Cats are smart, have the biggest brains per body size of most animals.
- Cats are intuitive, they can comfort their humans when they (the humans) don’t feel well.
- Cats are low maintenance, a can of food here and there, a quick scoop in the litter box, and you’re done for the day.
- Listening to a cat purring is the best (and better) thing since oxycodone.
- Cats don’t bark, don’t chase cars, don’t poop on the lawn and they won’t ever howl at the moon.
- Cats will play with their humans and often provide hours of entertainment.
- Cats will keep the house free from rodents, lizards and liberal progressive democrat socialist personalities.
Eventually, I did come to see the benefits of her argument. Did I mention that she is the fourth First Lady? (I might be slow, but I have learned from experience). So, off to the shelter to visit some cats….
Fast forward some months, encompassing an uncountable number of face-to-face encounters with felines of various breeds and genders. (We were able to confine our choices to only two genders, as the Good Lord intended.) Cats don’t have pronouns, at least to date. Then, as it is with most important events in our lives, the answer presented itself as the result of a google search, with the target being a pet store some 30 miles from home. Yes, in the picture on the web page, I see the cutest little tuxedo cat in the history of mankind…. Or at least in the history of this man. I took one small drive for a cat, and one giant leap for pet-ownership.
I suspect that you suspect, that it was all over at my initial view of the web page. Well, you are almost right. The fourth First Lady saw her in the cage and pronounced, “this is the one”. A belly rub later (the cat, dear reader, not me) and loud purring ensued, confirming the selection process. From that moment on, it was all too easy before we found our way home…a cat bed, a scratching post, a cat condo, a water dish, various toys, various kinds of wet and dry food, a litter box, organic cat litter from corn meal that was processed without all of those nasty pesticides, and a cat carrier to bring the feline to her new kingdom. Oh well, I’ll have to stay home while the cat adjusts to her new environment, so I won’t spend that money anywhere else. (I forgot to add that cats are ‘budget friendly’ to the list above).
The fourth First Lady asked me about renaming the cat when we arrived home. Once again, I demonstrated the depth of my lived experience by suggesting that she first suggest a new name, since ‘new cat’ was all I could extrapolate at the moment. She suggested Marfa (Russian for Martha). It sounded good to me and in fact, since the cat is a ‘tuxedo’ cat and always ‘dressed for the occasion’, I suggested she have a last name as well….. something like Marfa Stewart? Imagine, if you will, the ensuing conversation about a cat with a first, and last, name. So, Marfa it is!
Fast forward about twenty months or so. Marfa has proven herself to be an excellent communicator. She is very vocal about what she wants, what she expects and when she expects it to be delivered. She has been able to be boundary trained when I let her outside (something the fourth First Lady says is highly unusual) and returns to the house at my request. I did attend dog handler’s supervisors’ school while on active duty, so maybe something stuck with me. Marfa tolerates her humans and on occasion, will sometimes sit at our feet in the recliners and watch a movie. While she has yet to communicate her favorite genre, she does seem to be most fascinated with science fiction.
Okay, okay, back to the initial purpose of this post. How does one communicate moral and beneficent choices one can make in life, to a cat? Why do I ask? Today, Marfa caught a locust on the patio during one of her twice daily sojourns outside (since we have coyotes around, she must be supervised). She immediately brought said locust in the house and once secured, proceeded to play with it, pawing it and occasionally, gently biting it.
Marfa had no malicious intent, but her play resulted in an experience of absolute hell for the locust. Getting pawed, swatted (no, there was no FBI involved) and generally mauled, the horrible situation for the locust was more than evident. (Okay, I might be projecting a little). So, how do I tell my wonderful little cat to simply follow her instincts and finish her hunt, putting the poor bug out of its misery? Sadly, it won’t / can’t happen. First time in my life I’ve felt sorry for an insect.
This, dear reader, was my lesson. I realized that I can’t teach a cat about the morality of a quick kill vs. playing with prey. Marfa cannot deny her instincts; she can’t realize that her ‘play hunt’ is agonizing to her prey. I then realized that liberal progressives can’t realize that their self-interested and big government agendas are agony to the me, the average American citizen.
‘Big government’ believers, progressives, democrat socialists and liberals don’t seem to be capable to be conscious of the average American’s torment; about how their advocation of big government dominance robs us all of us of our freedoms and dignity. They, like Marfa, are content to paw and play with our freedoms and our God given rights, advocating putting themselves and government agencies in charge of our lives, regulating our behaviors, torturing us, not realizing how what they think is beneficence, is actually maleficence.
The lesson here (at least for me)?
Cats are smart (and sometimes cute), but they don’t have the moral compass we would like them to have. We cannot imbue our cats with any level of moral standards. They are creatures of instinct.
Democrats are probably not as smart as cats (not anywhere as cute), and they surely don’t have the moral compass we would like them to have. We cannot imbue democrats with any level of moral standards. They too, are creatures of instinct.
Unfortunately, democrats and liberal’s instincts, unlike cats, are to bully, direct and control. So dear reader, don’t adopt any liberals or democratic socialists. They won’t take direction or be able to ingest any moral directions about their behaviors. They cannot be trained and like cats, refuse to consider anyone else other than their own presence. Vote accordingly
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