This is Page 3 from the book Diary of a Buddhist Cat
When John brought me to the house where I live now, he let me out of the cat carrier and I couldn’t believe there were places to run to, other rooms and there was an outside through the windows. They even let me go out of the front door, into the outside world, and I miaowed with happiness as I scampered down the wet front steps into the long green stuff they call a lawn. An uncut, unmowed lawn. A lawn that came up almost to my shoulders and made my fur wet, very wet, and I don’t like my fur to get wet. I didn’t know what wet was until I frolicked in the lawn. After four small steps, after just four steps of happiness, four steps of blessed relief of joy, of contentment, of pleasure, all my legs were wet, and my tummy was too. I gave off my distress miaow, a long
and I lifted my front-right paw and my back-left paw, so they were almost clear of the wet lawn, which was clinging on to my precious black and white fur like it owned it and wanted it for its own purposes. I wasn’t very good at balancing like this as I had no experience of balancing like this and I thought I would overbalance, but John came to the rescue, placing me in a large towel that absorbed the water, or most of it, and I started purring as he carried me back into the house. I was thrilled and then I glanced across and saw another cat. This was the first time I saw Gemma, and she gave me her sneer when she bunches her eyebrows together, narrows her eyes, and gives me a nasty stare.
Actually, I now appreciate that Gemma has six degrees of sneering. The higher the sneer level, the more bunching, narrowing, and nastiness there is.
Sneer Level 1 means ‘Ignorant Cat’ and means I am being ignorant. She reckons I should understand something, and I don’t. She goes on the Internet every night and reads a lot on there, as well as answering emails and responding to queries from other animals in her ‘Agony Aunt’ column for an online pet magazine on ‘The Dark Web’ which is why she accesses it at night when it’s dark, I presume.
Sneer Level 2 means ‘Stupid Cat’ and means I am being stupid. Such as when I jump to catch a fly and land in the water bowl, splashing the contents on the floor and wall, and drawing attention to myself.
Sneer Level 3 means ‘Ignorant and Stupid Cat’ and means I am being ignorant and stupid. Two things at once, two for the price of one. An example of this would be when I sat on the floor and tried to climb up the continental quilt on the main bed using my claws. As I climbed, more of the quilt came towards me at a quick pace, so I climbed more frantically, which only resulted in me being buried under the quilt on the floor which hadn’t been hoovered. I got into trouble. It was a stupid idea, because I weighed more than the quilt, and I was ignorant because I didn’t understand what gravity was, but I do now. Gravity is cunning and sneaks up on you when you’re least expecting it, especially on fences.
Sneer Level 4 means ‘Fraternising with the Enemy’ and means I am receiving attention from anything other than another cat. This was the first level of sneer I received from Gemma when John wrapped me up in a warm towel after the grass had attacked me with water and soaked my lower half.
Sneer Level 5 means ‘Quisling’ and means I am collaborating with the enemy, such as sleeping on a lap or talking to a crow in the garden. It was Winston Churchill who first used the name Quisling to mean collaborator in his public address following the Nazi invasion of Norway in 1940. In his speech on June 12, 1941, addressed to Allied Delegates, Churchill stated that “A vile race of Quislings—to use a new word which will carry the scorn of mankind down the centuries—is hired to fawn upon the conqueror, to collaborate in his designs, and to enforce his rule upon their fellow countrymen, while grovelling low themselves. Such is the plight of once-glorious Europe, and such are the atrocities against which we are in arms.”
Sneer Level 6 means ‘An Enemy of Cat Kind’ and means I am fraternising and collaborating with the enemy at the same time. This would involve me sleeping on a lap and purring, showing my enjoyment, or running towards John or Mary when they call my name, which Gemma considers a heinous crime worthy of a dog. She even says that I have the soul of a dog. I asked her whether she thought there was such a thing as the Transmigration of Souls, like I did. She laughed at me and said in that case I was eating some of my dead ancestors in my food. Cats are obligate carnivores and need meat for certain vitamins and nutrients and I suppose that could be what they mean by soul food.
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