Cat Thoughts, 2014

I find myself getting besotted by our kittens, who will be a year old very soon. By Golly! - I find myself saying - these kittens are surely the smartest, bestest-looking, sweetest kittens in the world! What a lucky fellow I am to have such wonderful kittens!

Today, Boris climbed onto my lap while I was trying to work. You might reasonably expect that he would do some kind of careful reconnaissance to determine whether or not my knees were stable enough to support his not inconsiderable weight. However, he just flopped onto them in a very careless way - in fact, he would have crashed to the ground had I not extended one arm to support him. Once settled in, he started purring loudly and I smiled indulgently. I also began imagining all the past generations of more cautious cats that had refused to take it for granted that the human would catch them if they fell. But eventually the trusting cat got an extra five minutes' lap time which allowed him to get an edge on the cautious cats at dinner time. How many generations had to pass before this trust could be incorporated into their genes?!

And then I thought, in the spirit of the times, how completely anthropocentric that is! We must try to imagine how Boris evaluates this situation. Well, he is thinking - these humans must have spent so many generations fine-tuning their willingness to provide this level of personal attention that I can exploit whenever I please. And all in exchange for a bit of rumbling in my chest that doesn't cost me a thing!

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