Normally I’m not a violent person. In fact, I often go out of my way to catch little insects or spiders that I find creeping about on my apartment walls or floors, and I bring them to the window to let them fly free. Sure, there are those crawly things that don’t actually know how to fly, and I do feel badly about that. But intent has to count for something.
I once had a cat who was great at finding and eating the little critters. While I wrestled for a while with the idea of letting him do that without trying to save them, I eventually figured it’s just the circle of life. (The Lion King is especially great for rationalization.)
But my current cat, god bless her, sees the little buggies and just watches them … without lifting a fur-covered muscle. On the other hand, when I put myself in a position where she can grab my arm, she quickly goes into a “crush this thing” holding-and-kicking mode before I can get myself free of her grip. At first I thought “Isn’t that cute?” until my acupuncturist explained that’s the same way they crush a mouse’s skull.
You have to wonder how bright she is to attack the arm that feeds her. But my friend Marion assures me that they are all stupid, and we just deceive ourselves into thinking they are smart. I do admit that Marion has never grabbed my arm and tried to crush it.
The thing about cats is that, as much as you brush them, more fur pops up. I mean right at that very moment. Just brush, turn your head, turn back again, and see all the new loose fur. It’s like a self-replenishing money tree, except I can’t pay the mortgage with it. Man … wouldn’t that be great if you could?
Speaking of loose fur, this morning, while I was cleaning the bathroom, I lifted the bathroom scale to sweep underneath and saw something moving. “SQUISH!” I got it before I could even think about karmic retribution. (It was pretty early in the day still.)
So there I was, crushing a matted ball of fur and dust with the same heartless intensity my kitty uses to go after my (apparently) mouse-like arm. Does instinct trump intent after all? Should it?
Must be time to watch The Lion King again. Like the Magic 8 Ball, it has all the answers.