Friday, 17 April 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #136: Human v Feline

Sumax's Challenge

Are you your brother's keeper? If so, why? If not, why not?
Write a short story or essay on responsibility and any boundaries pertaining thereto.

I use the term "brother" in the loosest possible context.
Within the parameters, go where the Muse takes you - It's entirely up to you.

“Now this might be a tough one cats, I think I need help.”
“What’s the problem Mrs. Human.” It was Nera. “Well me and Tabby did have a brother, but he sort of disappeared when we were kittens, he took over a home somewhere else.”
“You mean he was adopted by someone.”
“Mrs. Human, when talking about being my brother’s keeper it really stops there. Kittens are not adopted they take over, and as soon as we are finished with the maternal milk tap we do our own thing. “
“You don’t have to take it so exact Nera. It is based on something from the bible.”
“What’s that?” asked Tabby
“It’s a book that a lot of humans have at home with lots of stories telling you basically how to behave I suppose.”
“Well that human that asked if he was his brother’s keeper was not really behaving, was he Mrs. Human, although I must say he sounds very feline.”
“I suppose you are right Tabby, he had just killed his brother so decided to answer a question with another question, but I don’t think it would be a good idea to start a theological discussion with you cats, it would be too complicated.”
“What’s her problem Nera?” asked Tabby
“You know, she always changes the subject when she doesn’t know what she is talking about” answered Nera.
“Excuse me cats, but I don’t have feline discussions with you on the Bast theory or whether he really existed or not, so I think we will leave that part of the discussion.”
“Of course he existed” Fluffy is now involved in the conversation.
“Mrs. Human we must agree, of course Bast existed, he was the top cat at that time, but it was many years ago and he didn’t have a brother.”
“There are lots of paintings and statues of him” said Nera.
“She’s right Mrs. Human, you even have some history books full of it and I heard that humans have to learn about our great civilisation in the school. Anyhow to get back to the theme, we cats keep no-one. We look after I, me and myself.”
“Yes Tabby, I did notice that from time to time; although I was quite surprised yesterday when Fluffy was outside in the garden and had a meeting with the neighbour’s cat Roshti. Fluffy is blind, but she attacked Roshti spitting and showing her claws and Roshti was ready for a fight. Poor little Fluffy would have had no chance, but I noticed that Nera suddenly appeared on the scene and Tabby was there as well. It was then that Roshti ran off; you were really looking after Fluffy and showing that you were your brother’s keeper.”
“Forget it Mrs. Human” said Nera “we could not care less about Fluffy and he is not our brother. If he wants to attack Roshti on his own, that is his problem. Tabby and I were concerned about any territorial claims that Roshti might make if he had won the fight. We certainly don’t want a big red cat moving in here. By the way Tabby and Fluffy don’t forget to spray around the next time you go out, just to prove the point.”
“Cats I am disappointed. I really thought you look after each other.”
“Mrs. Human, now be honest. Do you really care about everyone?”
“I try to but it doesn’t always work. It just lays in the human nature that I do not consider everyone as meaning it well with me. When I was a child I lived in a part of London which was not very wealthy. People did not have a lot of money, it was a working class area. We would play in the street and the door to our house was never locked. We could go in and out as we pleased and our parents always knew what we were up to. This is no longer the case. Things have changed a lot over the years. Doors are locked as you just cannot trust all any more. If you left your door open, someone might steal something. If you leave your car unlocked, there is a fair chance that it would be gone. There are people that say give me money and I will return it with interest, but they are perhaps just cheating and you never see the money again. They don’t care about other people or their feelings, the result being that today I am very careful. If I really know someone well and see that they have problems, I will try to help, but only then.”
“We cats don’t really have such problems. We trust no-one and take what we want.”
“You are right there Nera” said Tabby “although I remember when you got locked in the cupboard once and Mrs. Human did not notice it; I just kept scratching on the door and she opened the cupboard and released you.”
“I don’t remember that Tabby.”
“Of course you don’t, you just walked out of the cupboard and went to the food bowl. We were kittens then, so I suppose I still had a sort of lingering feeling for my litter sister.”
“You see cats, there was a little bit of care for each other at one time.”
“Hey forget it Mrs. Human. I don’t even remember what my mum looked like and my dad just disappeared before we were born. Let’s forget all this brother’s keeper stuff, it just doesn’t lead anywhere. Mrs. Human you just supply the food, clean our box out and make sure we have a tuna fish meal once or twice a week and we are happy. And make sure we have a nice place to sleep. By the way Mrs. Human, talking of nice place to sleep, you should clean my cushion, it is full of cat hairs” said Nera.
“Mine too, Mrs. Human” added Tabby “I think Nera sleeps there sometimes.”

So that was a ideological discussion on the theme of “Am I my brother’s/cat’s keeper” from a cat’s point of view; they are nobody’s keeper, but we humans? Answering the question “am I my cat’s keeper” the answer is definitely Yes and as far as other humans are concerned, I am just very careful.

United Friends Challenge #136: Human v. Feline

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