Every once in a while, a reader sends me a link to something I’ve already dealt with (and that’s OK, I don’t expect everyone to have committed the entirety of the Pharyngula database to memory), but it’s a link to something so dang weird it’s worth reposting. In this case, I was sent a link to a page that purports to describe the beliefs of some Jehovah’s Witnesses about cats, where among many other jaw-dropping arguments, it gives us this jewel:
Indeed, modern studies of classification of cats, while not necessarily being reliable as they may be based on the discredited ‘theory’ of evolution, strongly associate felines with serpents (despite some external differences in physiology and morphology, which confuse those who do not study these matters deeply).
The consensus of the previous discussion was that the site is probably a satire, although it hews so close to the insanity of the actual religion that it’s hard to tell. It’s still funny either way, though. It’s also a good excuse to quote one of my favorite fantasy authors, Tanith Lee.
I have a cat. He’s a bit of a big pain in the butt, always pestering us for attention and wanting to be fed and petted and all that fuzzy fol-de-rol…but what I did not realize was that he is a feline tool of the devil. It’s just as well I’m an atheist, because good Christians shouldn’t keep cats. Why, you ask? Read this fascinating page by a Jehovah’s Witness that documents the evil of Felis domesticus.
Having a cat leads to idolatry. Egyptians kept cats, and they worshipped a cat god, QED.
It was a common practice in ancient Egypt to worship or idolize cats as ‘gods’. Indeed, after death many cats were mummified, venerated and sacrifices were made to them. As Christians we observe not only the Mosaic Law, but also the ‘necessary things,’ identified by the Apostles at Jerusalem, to include the following edict: ‘(1) Abstain from sacrifices to idols’. We are to ‘guard ourselves from idols’ and ‘worship no other gods’. Such feline influence could lead to idolatry and thereby ‘grieve Jehovah’s Spirit’ with tragic consequences. May we never take for granted Jehovah’s wise and generous counsel brought to you by your spiritual brothers in the pages of this magazine!
Keep that in mind next time you think to give your cat a treat and get it a can of that Fancy Feast gourmet cat food—it’s just like offering up a fatted calf to a heathen idol.
Then, of course, we also know what else cats are associated with: witchcraft. Get a cat, and next thing you know, you’re dancing naked under the full moon at Beltane.
Throughout history, particularly in the middle ages and reaching its climax in the Salem Witch trials of the seventeenth century, cats were recognized by the forces of Christendom as familiars and carriers if not direct incarnates of demons. While, in common with most beliefs of the empire of false religion, no evidence has ever been found to support this, the symbolism of cats still remain within the public psyche, and involvement with them reflects poorly on God’s footstools and footstep followers. Many pagan faiths still conclude that black cats bring ill-luck and possess demonic forces, while we have shown that it is, instead, all cats that share these perceived characteristics. Since cats were associated with the devil, could we as faithful and dedicated servants of God therefore contaminate ourselves by exposure to a ‘living symbol’ of satanic incarnation? How would this reflect on God’s name and that of his visible, earthly organization? Would we want to be linked with a symbol of Satan, the ‘god of this beastly system of things’?
I know what you’re thinking: you’re a good person. You can resist temptations like that. But did you know that cats lead to beheadings? Resist an axe at your neck, Jesus freak.
The Bible does not say that cats were not present at Herod’s birthday party when John the Baptist was beheaded. History shows that cats were most likely present at this tragic party that Jehovah did not approve of. Clearly then, as loyal Christians, why would we even want to associate with animals that are without a doubt of such bad influence, remembering how true are the Bible’s words: ‘Bad associations spoil useful habits’! -1 Cor. 15:33. Some have exposed themselves to possible spiritual contamination in this way. To invite cats in our house is to toy with disaster. Can one deny that the chance exists that the same grave consequences could visit your home that fell upon John? Clearly, God disapproved of this ‘birthday’ party. Should we not then disapprove (without showing any malicious intent, only Godly hatred) of cats the way the scriptures recommend?
I love the logic of that paragraph. There is no evidence that cats were even present, not even in the author’s favorite source of evidence, the Bible, but they might have been there, and John the Baptist was beheaded…so it could happen to you, too! He’s not very clear on that cause-and-effect thing, I guess.
Me, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. I prefer to think that having a cat increases my chances of having some sexy middle-eastern hottie show up at my house and do a strip tease.
OK, so there’s a slim chance of decapitation with cat ownership, but here’s an even more pressing worry: CATS EAT PEOPLE!
The careful student of the Bible will acknowledge that nowhere within it is any species (‘kind’) of cat referred to in favorable terms. In fact, was it not lions of the first century who the Devil used to devour faithful Christians? Jehovah Himself ‘stopped up the mouths of the lions’ (Dan. 6:22) in Daniel’s day. True, the small housecats of today are not quite lions, but being of the same accursed animal family used by God’s enemies on numerous occasions throughout history, would it be wise or prudent to own one? In addition, by owing any type of cat (feline), would we not give an appearance of condoning their evil deeds throughout recorded Bible and secular history? The Bible makes clear that God’s people are ‘no part of this world’ (John 15:19) and that we are ‘not to share in the sins of others’, consume lecithin within nutritive cereal or ‘candy’ bars, or do other things directly banned in Holy Scripture.
(WTF? The bible directly bans lecithin in candy bars? Let me tell you, this web page is a freakin’ gold mine of weird stuff.)
Lessee…idolatry, witchcraft, beheadings, getting eaten alive…yeah, that’s scary and convincing. Here’s another good reason to avoid cats, though: none of the cool kids owned cats!
The scriptures clearly indicate that neither Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, faithful Job, the Apostles, Jesus nor any other human bearing God’s favor himself owned a cat. Should we simply assume that this is a mere coincidence? Surely not! This was most likely because they didn’t want to be like the pagan contemporaries of their respective days who showed no regard for how God feels about owning a cat. In harmony with the pattern set by the faithful prophets and worthies of old, it would therefore not be fitting for the true Christian today to own a cat.
I can’t really mock this next one. It’s true.
But, the most modern scientific evidence also supports the Biblical view. Contrary to popular beliefs among worldly people, cats are unhygienic animals. Recently the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that ‘Cats .. can shed Salmonella in their feces, which can spread the bacterial infection to humans’. Salmonella (salmonella typhimurium) creates a condition of ‘week-long diarrhea, abdominal cramps and in some instances, hospitalization.’ Would we be showing the proper respect to our life, Creator and to our ‘neighbor’ by exposing ourselves and others to this potentially deadly disease? Would this be seen by your brothers, and by those showing an interest in God’s word, as giving a good witness?
Additionally, cats practice many unclean habits not befitting a Christian household: coughing up fur balls, licking inappropriate body areas on their own bodies (inappropriate handling) and even, in some cases, on the bodies of their human owners (wrongful motive?), urination on the floor, vocal and blatant promiscuity (unknown to any other species, all others being endowed with Godly chastity and decorum) and widespread sexual misconduct without the benefit or sanctity of holy matrimony, even orgiastic practices, substance abuse of catnip (an intoxicating herb) which produces conditions akin to drunkenness, stealing food from the table, producing ungodly sounds, excessive playfulness and the employment of devices not known to have been used by Jesus, the conducting of its unholy business under the cover of the darkness of night, and so on. What sort of example does this give our young ones endeavoring to faithfully serve Jehovah? The Bible clearly shows that ‘neither fornicators .. nor thieves .. nor drunkards .. nor revilers .. will inherit the Kingdom.’ (1 Cor. 6:9-11)
Cats are disgusting, aren’t they? It’s sad that they aren’t going to heaven, but heck, it wouldn’t be a good club if it weren’t a bit exclusive.
The really impressive evidence that cats are wicked, though, comes from
Andrew Lloyd Webber Science.
Clearly, the Bible – by using this kind of terminology – shows beyond any reasonable doubt that the basic nature of cats, while created perfect by God, has become evil or ‘beastlike’ since the fall of Adam six thousand years ago, and more probably, since the Great Flood of Noah’s time (c2350 B.C.E.). This is a development of the condition borne by the ‘Original Serpent’, the ‘Great Dragon’ Lucifer himself. (Gen. 3:1) Indeed, modern studies of classification of cats, while not necessarily being reliable as they may be based on the discredited ‘theory’ of evolution, strongly associate felines with serpents (despite some external differences in physiology and morphology, which confuse those who do not study these matters deeply).
Wait a minute…what modern classification scheme would group cats with snakes? That sounds like a polyphyletic heresy to me.
But then I remembered a source: an exotically stylish fantasy novel about demons, Tanith Lee’s Delusion’s Master. It has a lovely origins story for cats:
Then Azhrarn smiled, and he went back to Druhim Vanasta. There he took up a snake and he inquired, “Would it be worth while to you, in order to win the affection of mankind, to be a little changed?”
“Of what good is mankind’s affection?” asked the snake.
“Those they love,” said Azhrarn,” fare well. And those they hate they harm.”
The snake had heard reports from his cousins concerning mallets, and after some thought, he agreed.
Then Azhrarn conducted the snake to the Drin, and the Drin made for the snake particular extras, which had all to do with what men had said they disliked about him. First the Drin made him four muscular little legs with four round little paws on the ends of them. And then they make him two little pointed ears to stand up on top of his head. Then they bulked out his body with a cunning device, and straightened his tongue with another – but it remained in fact a thin tongue, and in fact a great deal of tail remained to him at the back. Next they made him an overcoat of long soft black grasses, and decorated his face – which was now very pretty – with ornaments of fine silver wire. His jewel-like eyes, which had always been quite wonderful, they had need to alter only a jot. Lastly, to compensate for removing his venom, (although they left the shape of his teeth alone), they presented him with some sharp slivers of steel to wear in his round feet for purposes of self-defense.
When Azhrarn beheld the result, he laughed, and ran his hand over the new animal’s spine. At which all was transmuted into flesh and muscle, and the coat of grass into luxuriant, velvety hair. And at the touch of Azhrarn also, the new animal made a strange sound, not a hiss, but –
“My dear, you are purring,” said Azhrarn, and again he laughed.
To this day, no cat can bear to be laughed at, even in love.
However, sure enough, the animal, legged, eared and furry, was an enormous success on earth. Men were pleased by his grace and elegance, admired his cool blood and wicked self-command. And when he grew sometimes peeved, forgot himself, and hissed – they did not remember the snake, but remarked: “There is the cat, hissing.” Nor did they notice how both the cat and the snake slew mice, or enjoyed milk, though both became the pets of sorcerers. And men never would credit that if they overlooked the fur and held flat the two pointed ears of the cat, then and now, you might see still the wedge-shaped demon head and the sharp teeth of the serpent, poised there, under your hand.
That’s probably as close to a scientific source as that author has come, so I guess it’s alright. Except that I think reading mildly erotic gothic novels about sensual demons means he’s going to Hell now.
You should be convinced by now that cats are bad, and Something Must Be Done. “What?” you ask. Take a guess: this is from a good Fundamentalist Theocrat, and they have one great catch-all solution to un-christian activity, straight from the book of Deuteronomy:
“And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God…
If you are considering taking your pet outside and clubbing it to death with a rock, though, keep in mind the next line:
Of course, we can take no legal responsibility for anything which results from your voluntary application of your interpretation of such Biblical principles as you may believe that we have brought to your attention.