Back in November I posted an entry called Metempsycowsis and subsequently promised one of my regular readers never to perpetrate a bovine-based bit of writing again. Well, I have kept my word, sort of. The subject matter may be vaguely related and the title vaguely similar – but there are no moo-cows. Promise.

It just occurred to me that I may be turning into a cat. All that business with Franz Kafka becoming a beetle yesterday made me think. It wouldn’t be surprising, considering I share my house with thirteen of them and they, I am sure, do not regard me as a human being. I suspect cats have no concept of human being, any more than they have a concept of garden walls or ‘your space’ and ‘my space’. They will cheerfully roam across and casually anoint all the gardens in the neighbourhood. The entire neighbourhood is their territory and divided up in other, more subtle ways. Where they can go depends on other cats – how many? where? male or female? how fierce?

To a cat I am probably just another cat – giant-sized; female; not fierce; able to open tins. When I watch television there is often a tortoiseshell cat pushed up under my chin, obscuring the screen. Television doesn’t register unless birds happen to be flying about in it. When I read, there is often a cat sitting on top of the book or trying to climb inside the magazine. Words are just marks in paper. Literature is something rustly that gets in the way.

And when I curl up for a sleep in the middle of the day, and wake to find myself surrounded by cats doing the same, or when I bump noses with the cat on top of the fridge, and it breathes in my breath and I breathe in its, or at the surgery find myself listening to the cat rather than the vet, passing on its current health concerns – am I not approaching some sort of human/feline interface? The event horizon beyond which nothing more can be known, and nothing heard?

Some say animals have souls. I notice the ‘Michael’ channellings indicate separate souls for humans, ‘hive souls’ for animals. According to Shepherd Hoodwin (Journey of Your Soul) humans and cretaceans (ie dolphins and whales) have a complex, sentient soul, whereas most animals have ‘consciousness and feeling but are not capable of purely intellectual function, such as making or following a budget’. I do hope, if any whale-hunters are reading this, they will Just Stop Doing It.

Yesterday, by coincidence, this complex, sentient human soul spent many hours attempting to ‘make’ a budget. At the end of those few hours, pencil and calculator cast aside, it was forced to admit that its income was several hundred pounds a month less than its outgoings. That’s not clothes, books, cinema tickets or anything fancy. That’s baked beans, cat food and household bills. This explains the downwardly-trending bank balance, but not what to do about it!!!  Financially speaking this human is no better qualified than a tortoiseshell cat. If only she was a tortoiseshell cat – then somebody would feed her, man the calculator and sort out all the ghastly paperwork.

I do believe it is possible that we have both physical DNA and some kind of psychic DNA – something that links, not only humans to humans, but all creatures to one another. But now we’re getting a bit bells-and-flowers and weirdy-beardy. Best not go there.

I may well awake one morning, whiskered and furred, craving tinned who-knows-what meat masquerading as chicken. Maybe I will find myself smaller, and wondering why there are birds inside the TV – or might they be behind it? Maybe one of my cats will have to take over the remote control, and drive me to the vet’s.

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