Of cats and gods


I thought having a dog was neat. I thought having a woman was cool. Then I got a cat. He ignores me. He treats me like scum. Half the time, he walks away when I try to pet him, only to stop after three feet and lick his ass. Dogs are now nothing to me, and women are even less. I just wish I had forty more cats to treat me like garbage. They would take me back to my childhood when I learned that God loved me despite my utter failure to deserve it and his total unwillingness to show it. No matter how much I needed some proof that he was real, no matter how much I pleaded for faith or reviled him for not granting it, he stayed behind a cloud. 

THAT’S what having a cat is like. I know he loves me because he comes looking for me when hes hungry, and this can only mean that he acknowledges my existence and has hope that I will give him food, and the fact that he acknowledges my existence and has hope that I will give him food proves his great love for me, if I have faith. Yet, he ignores me the rest of time, and this can only mean that he’s better than I in every conceivable way. This makes him like God! If I had a heart attack and fell to the floor clutching my chest in agony, my cat would remain three feet away licking his ass, and the god of the Bible would remain behind a cloud listening to eternal strains of the Hallelujah Chorus, yet, if I had faith, I would just know that I was loved. 

“Look deep into my eyes… You are getting very, very sleepy… You are getting so sleepy that you can longer think, so you are free, free to believe, believe, believe…in anything you were told was true by the people you grew up among…” 

“...the peace of God, which passeth all understanding... the Bible

Religion is the opium of the people.” Marx


In this post, I maligned my cat by presenting him as a stereotype. For that I humbly begged his forgiveness, and he graciously granted it. 

This post was inspired by a reader who quoted the following Bible verse to remind me of the low opinion in which God holds that part of his creation which was made in his own image: The heart is deceitful...and desperately wicked. 

30 comments:

rhymeswithplague said...

1. If you would humbly beg God's forgiveness (but you have to mean it), he will also graciously grant it.

2. I presume the hymn you were referring to is "Amazing Grace" but the line you quoted is not from "Amazing Grace" -- it is from "Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed?" by Isaac Watts. Many modern hymnals have changed the line to "Would he devote that sacred head for sinners such as I?"

Snowbrush said...

" I presume the hymn you were referring to is "Amazing Grace" but the line you quoted is not from "Amazing Grace"

Thank you, Rhymes. I got my worms and my wretches mixed up, so for now I have deleted the reference.

"Many modern hymnals have changed the line to "Would he devote that sacred head for sinners such as I?"

The theory being that it's good to grovel in unworthiness as long as you don't overdo it.

Helen said...

I've just finished reading this post + the last two and all comments! The best part of my day ~ no doubt!!! Keep writing!

Deb said...

Animals are amazing. I recently got a rescue dog from a shelter and she relies on me, as I rely on her. In an opposing belief to yours of course (wink) I'm glad that God has brought this pup to me. The dog rescued me, rather than me rescue her. My faith, my belief that anything that happens here on earth is nothing compared to what it's like when we pass. Our third demential bodies can only grasp so much. But, I have faith and I have my dog, and get this -- God is with me too while singing hymns and answering a zillion prayers at the same time. The great multitasker. ;)

But yes, cats are great. Just don't turn into one of those 'cat ladies' , or umm, men, where they have 100 crawling around the house crapping all over the walls. I wish you the best! Enjoy your new feline friend... sometimes, I have to admit, I like animals better than people 'at times'.... you get me...

Phoenix said...

Cats are jerks. Mine likes to wait until the bedroom is neatly vacuumed, then go pick a nice, clean spot to go throw up on the just-vacuumed carpet. She also manages to take up half the bed when she's one eighth my size. How does she do that? WHY does she do that? I have no idea. Because cats are jerks.

It's funny to see you compare cats to God... I happen to think God is less of a jerk than cats, but I see your point. But the point of it all is... I think that cats do indeed believe they should be worshiped as gods. And I can't help admiring that self-confidence, you know? :)

::hugs::

Charles Gramlich said...

You've let your cat get to you, man. You are already under its spell. scary.

A Plain Observer said...

Dear Snow, I love your posts and a long time ago I knew there was no point in stating my strong belief in God and arguing against your disbelief. I enjoy your writing, instead.
My cat does the same as yours. The difference with God is that I have to feed and clean after this cat, thankfully I never had to change God's litter nor buy him/her/it food. It's getting expensive nowawadays!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I see I'm not the only one wrapped around a paw!

The Elephant's Child said...

Loud smiles from a cat person. One of our cats behaves much like yours. Without question he believes himself to be well above me in the pecking order. He also (mostly) accepts the skinny portion as leader of the pack, then himself then a long way below the other cat and I are ranked. Very sad it is.

C Woods said...

Loved this. We've always has cats and few of them showed much love except when they were hungry ---and just like 'god' would probably do nothing to save us.

vjack said...

Great post. Very creative and something I never would have thought up. Maybe this is why I've always been a dog person!

Marion said...

As a crazy cat lady, I fully concur that cats think they are gods. I have 6 cats. The boy cats worship me and the girl cats hate my guts and fawn all over my husband. Go figure that one out. LOL!

I have a book titled, "Cat Heaven" that says God walk around with a cat on his head. I love that mental picture. xoxo

Strayer said...

Yes, my cats are gods and I serve them. In fact, I am forming a church of the cat, so I can preach, from a soapbox, something I have always dreamed of doing. To enter my church, one must show proof of fixing 200 cats and be vaccinated for rabies. I am sane, like most faithful church goers and believers. It is you non believers who are nuts! I am not crazy at all.

PhilipH said...

Oh my god! You've let the cat out of the bag now Snowy.
You'll never get to heaven now.
Putting the cat among the pigeons, ooh, that's really put paid to any chance of your sitting on the right hand side of dog, err god.
Aint you a'trembling in your shoes? As Mr. Bumble enquired of
Oliver?
Unless ... Unless Snowy ... Unless you say 3 million Hail Mary's without stopping. You MIGHT just save yourself.
Good post; good luck; goodnight!

lotta joy said...

I disagree with your take on the relationship you have with your cat. The cat isn't god. YOU are.

And, unlike God, who demands his creatures worship, adore, and love him, YOU, dear Snow, would never allow a hair on that cat's head to be harmed. Nor would you watch as it was beaten to death or died of abuse and starvation: even though it doesn't worship, adore, or seem to give a shit about you one way or another.

As I read the following, I saved them to my clipboard for the day I'd give them to you. Enjoy these words of wisdom:

***************

Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for one day. Give him a religion and he’ll starve to death praying for a fish. David Attenborough


You believe in a book that has sticks turning into snakes and you say we are the ones who need help? Ian Barker


The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it. Robert Ingersoll


Whatever we cannot understand we call god. Thus saving wear and tear on the the brain tissues. Edward Abbey


Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong God. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder. Homer Simpson's creator.


All Consuming said...

You love it. You know you do, whatever women and cats throw at you, hahaha x

lotta joy said...

Addendum: Okay. I made a mistake while writing my comment. Just take my first sentence, switch it all around, and there ya go! But the rest is good. ;)

Snowbrush said...

"If you would humbly beg God's forgiveness (but you have to mean it), he will also graciously grant it."

Graciously? How condescending. Protestantism is as formulaic as the Judaism that Jesus condemned. (Believe. Confess your belief with your mouth. Beg for forgiveness. Beg for forgiveness again every time you screw up. Add to these things any additions required by your particular denomination.) The saving grace (ha) of Judaism was that it mostly left ones feelings out of its requirements, whereas popular Christianity demands that you feel and think certain ways, and if you're unable to feel and think these ways, you're just screwed.

"I am sane, like most faithful church goers and believers. It is you non believers who are nuts! I am not crazy at all."

We know, dear. Now if you will give me that large vase you are holding in both hands above your head and climb down off that chair, we will have a nice little cup of gaily colored pills.

rhymeswithplague said...

I was quoting your own words, Snow:

"In this post, I maligned my cat by presenting him as a stereotype. For that I humbly begged his forgiveness, and he graciously granted it."

If you will climb down off your pedestal long enough to admit that if God exists you have maligned him/her/it (whatever) much worse than you maligned your cat, then you must surely also admit that God's graciousness would equal (and possibly even exceed) the cat's.

So please do not call it condescending and launch an attack on Protestantism, Judaism, or any other religion when your own words are quoted back to you.

The only difference I can see is that you were being snarky and I wasn't.

Snowbrush said...

"if you will climb down off your pedestal long enough to admit that if God exists you have maligned him/her/it (whatever) much worse than you maligned your cat, then you must surely also admit that God's graciousness would equal (and possibly even exceed) the cat's."

Well, I don't know. The cat said he forgave me, but he refused to read my post.

My friend, I have not maligned the God whom you think exists--that is, the
god of the Bible. I don't even think it would possible to malign him (or her, as KJ would prefer). If I were to name his sins for 24 hours a day for a long lifetime, I couldn't even get through those of the past second. Every tear of every child who ever lived would stand against him and Satan would be but a poor imitator of his crimes. I can't imagine why you think that I would ask his forgiveness even if I believed he existed. He is the one who should ask forgiveness. He should ask mine, and your's, and that of every sparrow that ever fell beneath the gaze of his callous eye. And then he should be cast down to the hell that you believe him to have prepared for the majority of humanity. I can't imagine how Christians find it within themselves to excuse the failures of their deity.

middle child said...

God does exist but I just wanted to give you one of MY personal motto's.

paraphrased.
"It's ok if people think you're crazy. It gives you alot of leeway for behavior." - Leo Buscalia

rhymeswithplague said...

I do not believe that God prepared hell for the majority of humanity. I believe God prepared hell for Lucifer (Satan) and the third of the angel host who went with him when he was cast out of heaven because of saying "I will be like the Most High." Satan became "the god of this world,' the "prince of darkness," the "father of lies", the deceiver -- and he is the one who wants to take humans with him to his ultimate destination, robbing God in the process, who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should have everlasting life. And we have it, too, either with Him or with His adversary for eternity.

You must have missed Christianity 101. Also, read Job sometime.

Snowbrush said...

Rhymes, if God is omnipotent he (or she, for those who prefer) could have created a universe with all of the good but none of the bad, with all of the reward and none of the punishment. Here's Twain's take on the Christian deity from his novelette "The Mysterious Stranger":

"...a God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and foregiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!"

Snowbrush said...

"God does exist"

You neglected to include the evidence, dear. Ha.

rhymeswithplague said...

Twain is just wrong on so many levels. He invents a straw man God and then proceeds to knock his invention down.

God did create good things, including giving man free will. From there our species kind of all went downhill. Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent.

"yet required his other children to earn it" -- not even close. We can't earn it. But we can receive it as a gift.

If you bring in Mark Twain, I suppose I should bring in C.S. Lewis and let the two of them argue it out.

Snowbrush said...

"He invents a straw man God"

Methinks he's quite Biblical, and when you describe your version of God, you sound quite Biblical also. The difference in you and Twain (and you and me) is that you are willing to cut the Biblical God any amount of slack for his bad behavior. For example, you recommended the story of Job to me as inspirational reading, whereas Twain would have seen it as simply another barbaric tale concerning the misadventures of a psychopathic deity. In this case, that deity allowed a man's family to be destroyed to win a bet and then imagined that he made the whole thing up to the man by giving him a new family.

Robin said...

Brewsky IS loved....by Peggy and yourself. He loves you both....and not just for food (although that is an enticement for sure). How do I know? You forget about the posts where he sits in your lap....and the one a few weeks back, where he was sleeping under the covers with his furry feet hanging out. He would only do this if he felt loved and secure (and knew he had 2 *slaves* to do his bidding! A-ha-ha!

Love,

♥ Robin ♥

p.s. He HAS grown up into a really beautiful cat! MEOW!

Snowbrush said...

"You forget about the posts where he sits in your lap...."

Robin, the cat in the story is not really Brewsky. Brewsky is a loving cat who trusts and adores me and is trusted and adored by me. I will have had him for two years this December, and his relationship with me has continued to grow during that time.

Stafford Ray said...

You just solved a puzzle, the solution of which has eluded me since I first read that Egyptians included a cat figure in their collection of gods.
In fact the cat behaves so much like the god of the Bible. Wonderful insights, Snow!

Snowbrush said...

"In fact the cat behaves so much like the god of the Bible."

Cats are saved, you might say, by their lack of divine power to inflict harm. Another point in their favor is that I have found my cat, at least, to be quite forgiving, and I don't even have to kill anything for him to offer his forgiveness.