Monday 11 October 2010

The Prince and the Paupers

I'll have to admit it - I just don't understand human society. To be sure, I admire them for their ingenuity - and for the kindness that most of them show to us kitties. But for all their wisdom and intelligence, why do they insist on being dominated by other humans? I hear the hushed reverence in the tones in which the local people, the monks at the Abbey - and even Caedmon - refer to the local potentates.
We cats don't have other felines to lord it over us; we're territorial animals, and if some cat turns up on the scene with ideas bigger than his (or her) station, we just stand our ground, bare our teeth, hiss, spit and growl - and the offender usually slinks away. Occasionally we may get a scratch or a torn ear for our troubles, but we air our differences and consequently everything finds its own equilibrium. Often the bitterest enemies become the firmest friends after such encounters. The Abbess' cat and I had a stand-off once, but now we go on hunting expeditions together.
But not so with humans: oh no! They have someone to rule over them, demand their allegiance and their money through taxation. They also expect people to fight for them. Yet these rulers live in opulent habitations with their families and hangers-on, while their subjects continue to live in their hovels. Why? It beats me - but then, I'm only a cat.
Only the other day, I heard that a prince from such a family has been on a visit to a faraway place where many of the humans live in dreadful poverty. He was so impressed by what he's seen that he's declared that he supports the idea of living in poverty, because it creates wonderful communities where people live in harmony. Caedmon says that they also continue to live hard lives. There's nothing that unites more than a common adversary or adversity. Of this I'm quite certain - this prince won't take a leaf out of his own book and live in such a place; he'll go back to the comfort of his fine food, his hounds and his lackeys, and his subjects will continue to reverentially gush over him. Pah! Example is better than precept. I wish I could convince Caedmon..

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