Sunday, September 25, 2011

When cats pray

This is just too funny - though a bit disturbing, too, considering the source. If you want a good laugh - or to consider the sad state of the American magazine industry these days - read it. It's short.

But I'll still post an excerpt here:
Yes, in case you didn’t know it, when your cat is off staring into space, she’s not just chilling, or contemplating an impending nap or meal: she’s praying!  Or so says Dr. Pamela Gerloff, Ed.D, woomeister, and columnist at Psychology Today. I haven’t read that magazine for years, but it seems to be going the Deepakian route, with Gerloff’s columns (she’s nicknamed “Possibility Pamela” in her profile) doing everything they can to justify a supernatural world beyond our own.  I deal with that on a daily basis, but the idea of praying cats, which Gerloff floats in a piece called “When cats pray: how our feline friends uplift the world,” is simply too much (my emphasis):
The other day, as I was dusting off a little glass shelf that had been my mother’s, I inadvertently bumped one of the tiny figurines on it–one of a set of blue and white china elephants she had once given me. The disturbance sent all the beloved creatures toppling. As I juggled to keep the whole shelf from falling, I felt a flash of frustration move through me; I might have been tempted to utter a censorable word, except that just at that instant my eyes caught Miss Kitty’s. Sitting motionless on the footstool next to me, her inward gaze shifted outward ever so slightly, just enough to neutrally observe my agitated state.

Instantly, the contrast in our inner experiences became palpable to me and I had a sudden insight. “Why, she’s praying,” I thought, as my mind fell into the calm oasis of her silent meditation. In that moment I recalled something my mother had once said many years ago. It was a musing-aloud about how maybe the world seemed to be in increasingly bad shape because there were fewer and fewer monks and nuns spending time in seclusion praying.

. . . Prayer, contemplation, and meditation done for extended periods of time naturally result in increased inner peace, which then radiates outward, positively affecting the entire environment. This is what I felt in Miss Kitty. As I paused to experience the stillness in which she was immersed, an image entered my mind–an image of a global feline force that daily nourishes and sustains us all. Millions of cats throughout the world quietly doing their spiritual duty, emanating peace and contentment. ...

What happens when we absorb their state?  We start napping 18 hours a day and demanding that others serve our needs—bringing us food and cleaning our toilets.

I look forward to Gerloff’s next piece on Feline Woo: “When cats spray: how our feline friends teach us to leave our mark on the world.”

Hilarious, don't you think? But troubling, too. That "praying cat" post was at a blog at the Psychology Today website, and I'm not sure if it was in the magazine itself. But either way, it's disgraceful.

And I'd never heard of an Ed.D., but apparently it indicates a "doctor of education," equivalent to a Ph.D. (a doctor of philosophy) in education. So maybe "Possibility Pamela" isn't a complete moron, though you'd never guess it from that post.

Oh, and I must note that I enjoyed this comment by "Luke Scientiae":
My cat brings in mice on a regular basis and leaves their disemboweled carcasses lying around.

Would that be because “cats haven’t forgotten, even after thousands of years of domestication” that ritual sacrifice can appease the gods?

No comments: