Monday, August 9, 2010

Deities and animal spirits

It is my belief that cats, for one, have their own deities. I also believe that at least some of their deities enjoy live sacrifices and prolonged torture. I am distinctly a cat-person, mind you, but there's something about some cat behavior that seems best explained by this. Sure, part of it is the cats trying to teach us how to hunt. That doesn't cover everything, though.

More than a decade ago my housemate at the time and I had a pair of brothers from the same litter. We found a pile of entrails on the white bathroom carpet two days in a row. No hair, no blood, no bones. Just the entrails of something that must have been as large as a squirrel. It certainly didn't map to "teaching" at all. It stopped after we both talked to our cats about it. I said they could do whatever they liked, but they should keep it outdoors. What sort of strange ritual were the cats performing? I, for one, haven't the foggiest. I'm confident that it wasn't praying to Jesus, though. (Even though my wife says cats like Jesus -- anyone who can multiply fish like that has to okay in their book, right?)

Note that I'm talking specifically of the deities of the cats. This is entirely different than the human deities governing or pertaining to cats. Human deities may have a cat head or take a cat shape, however they are tuned to the human mind and spirit. Cat deities on the other hand are tuned to feline minds and spirits. That is to say, I suspect that even in ancient Egypt the cats did not worship Bast or any other human deity

It seems logical that cats, like most creatures capable of complex social interactions, probably have multiple deities. But what about the simpler souls? If we accept that amoebae have souls, (as I do), is it logical to expect them to also have multiple deities?

I suspect that the extent of the variation among the deities of a particular species is directly related to the number of ways that the species is capable of perceiving the world as well as the number of types of social interactions that are available.

Some things may only have a single possible deity available. Rocks? While they can form complex interactions with any number of things, on their own they are pretty boring. It seems logical that the deities of the rocks would be as boring.

If there is no distinguishing characteristic that separates two deities they are essentially the same. More than that, if there are no distinguishing characteristics between two souls they are essentially the same.

Is it possible that instead of having numerous distinct amoebae souls and deities there may be a single Spirit governing the aspects of the amoeba with no distinction between members or between souls and deities? Personally, I think it is possible. It certainly bears more research.


  1. Cats most definitely are "higher beings" and I also believe that they have their own individual spirits. I have two sisters as you had brothers and while they have each distinct energies, I believe that cats especially are governed by a spirit force that we humans don't even have. I don't know about dogs though...

    And yes, to your comment you left about cats on "Witch Reviews" I loved the story of the White Cat even though it made me sad when I was younger. And I still read the Colored Fairy Books to this day. I have a personal blog that's going to be "opened" some time this month, called "The Year of the Cats" I do hope you'll be a guest blogger at one point.

    Thank you for this wonderful, insightful post and leaving a comment also on my blog.

    Many purrs to you,

  2. Yay! My first comment! :)

    Dogs, I think, are more likely to have a hierarchy of deities than cats. I imagine that the pack-like nature of dogs is reflected in their spirituality as well.

    To me, this also means that if we could get dogs to fully understand their owners the dogs would be more likely to blindly accept the house/pack deities. In a Christian home, the dogs would convert to Christianity without thought of any other options. (I've heard that the Romans also crucified dogs. -- At least on the day they celebrated geese saving the city.)

    Cats, on the other hand, would probably be likely to take a more independent approach. If your argument was good, of course, they might convert. I suspect they would always be asking the questions -- and if they didn't like an answer they'd move on.

    Due to the independent approach and a spiritual journey frequently filled with questions it is no wonder that many neopagans feel more in common with the cats than the dogs.

    If you've only read the Andrew Lang translation of the White Cat, I recommend reading the Hamilton Mabie version. I was astounded at some of the differences between what should be two translations of the same story. As I particularly liked the fact that the story has an ugly fairy named Violent riding the back of a dragon, I was disappointed that the Lang version left the fairy unnamed.

    I would be happy to be a guest blogger.