My friend sent me, via text message, this picture of her mother’s cat:
Something about this cat picture, sent to me two weeks into house arrest via coronapocalypse, spoke to a place deep inside me. I felt this cat. This cat knew something important about the universe.
I wanted this cat to replace the bald eagle on U.S. Currency.
I wanted a national holiday dedicated to honoring that cat.
I wanted to tattoo this cat on my bicep; I wanted this cat’s image repeated over and over on my wallpaper.
I asked what his name was. It was, allegedly, “Simba.”
No. No no no no no no. Simba is far too pedestrian and Disneyfied for so great a cat. I did a quick internet search and learned that Cleopatra’s cat was named Bastet. I decided Bast-Et looked more mysterious and wise and I re-christened the cat Bast-Et. I told my friend.
“I shall tell my mother you renamed him,” she said.
“No,” I said. “It is your mother who renamed him. He has always been Bast-Et. Your mother attempted to rename him.”
“Ah, that would explain the look he gives her when she tries to call him by name.”
“Though honestly,” my friend mused, “Bast-Et gives zero craps about much of anything.”
This sealed it. One should not adore a creature that craves adoration. Only one that gives zero craps is deserving of such adoration.
“We shall give offerings of fresh tuna to Bast-Et. Though not-so-fresh-tuna is just as good. Because of the zero craps thing. Bast-Et is not so picky so long as he gets tuna.” I said.
“And we shall give Bast-Et the first gleaning of the crop of catnip.” My friend said.
“And the last gleaning,” I said. “What else are you going to do with catnip?”
We were joking of course. Sort of. It did seem like Bast-Et/Simba had figured something out that we hadn’t. We humans with our big brains were fighting our house arrest, worried about the future and the present, going a little stir-crazy, and trying to figure out how to fill time until the world got back to normal. But Bast-Et was just chilling in his bean bag chair, waiting for his next offering of liver treats, taking naps in sunbeams, and basically going about life moment-by-moment. Tell me that’s not some ancient wisdom right there.
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