By Jeff Lazarus
AVAILABLE FROM SKYHORSE PUBLISHING
Do you Bow to the Meow? Is your cat the ruler of your household? Introducing a new, whisker-tickling perspective on our obsession with cats.
As whiskers are a cat’s guide in life, The Book of Whiskers is the guide to the belief system known as Catakism.
The Belief in Cat Human beings have a powerful need to believe, to throw themselves at the feet of something greater than they are. To worship. To adore. To make offerings and sacrifices to. To blame for not being happier, prettier, or more successful. Throughout history, that “something greater than they are” has taken the form of volcanoes, trees, cows, stars, planets, elephants with eight arms, pharaohs, kings, totem poles, airplanes, giant phalluses, sci-fi novelists named Ron, money, and pretty much anything else not found stuck to the bottom of a shoe.
Let’s just say there’s been a lot of trial and error on humanity’s part. But, over time, man’s need to express devotion has crystallized into some deep and lasting belief systems. These belief systems have become the great isms and ologies of the world: Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism; Astrology, Numerology, Dogtology, Scientology, mixology. Okay, the term “great” might not apply equally across the board here, but you get the point. There are well-known and named belief systems that are practiced by millions, even billions, of humans across the globe.
There are also unofficial beliefs that are practiced with uniform dedication by all of humankind, but they do not rise to the level of a formal religion. These include: If You Yell at Inanimate Objects Loudly Enough They Will Hear You and Obey; When You Check Your Teeth for Spinach in a Window Reflection, the Person on the Other Side of the Glass Can’t See You; and Googling Yourself on a Daily Basis Is the Secret to Eternal Happiness. Finally, there are deep belief systems that are practiced worldwide with the rabid devotion of a true religion, but they have not yet received an official name ... until now. Catakism is the greatest of such belief systems. Over the millennia, mankind’s love of cats has risen from the simple human-to-pet relationship we enjoy with goldfish, hamsters, and parakeets to something much, much more.
Kitties live in our hearts in a way we typically reserve for objects of true religious devotion.
What Is Catakism? Catakism, in short, is mankind’s unending and near-fanatical devotion to Cat. A Catakist does not consider a cat a pet, but rather a minor deity. Scratch that (pun intended): major deity. Catakism is more than the mere love or “ownership” (Seriously? Ownership?) of cats. Catakism is the belief that felines are elevated beings worthy of mankind’s near-religious reverence and devotion. Is worship too strong a word for what Catakists do toward cats? Is “brisk” too strong a word for the temperature on Pluto?
Humanity has slowly been converting to Catakism for millennia, but now the conversion rate has reached fever pitch. Don’t believe Catakism is among the major belief systems on Earth? Go on the Internet. Turn on your TV. Open a magazine. What do you see? Any questions? The prevalence of Catakism is further evidenced by the fact that cats have become the number one domestic creature on Earth, despite the fact that not one single feline in all of recorded history has ever been observed doing one thing of practical value for one single human being (unless you consider lying in the sun and licking their own fur to be of benefit to humans). Whereas dogs doggedly insist on protecting us, providing us exercise, tracking down our criminals, rescuing us from fires and avalanches, sniffing out diseases and illegal drugs, guarding our homes and businesses, and going to battle with us, cats insist on sleeping, slow-blinking, and staring at things that don’t exist. It is the very fact that Cat steadfastly refuses to serve Man in any way, shape, or form that demonstrates how one-sided humanity’s relationship with cats really is. Humans do the revering. Cats are content to be the object of that reverence. Catakism is the perfect marriage of a creature with an endless need to kneel at the feet of something greater than itself (Man; see above) and a creature with an endless need to be knelt before (Cat; see the rest of this book).
Humanity’s over-the-top obsession with cats—in our homes, in the media, on our computers and smartphones, in our bookstores and boutiques—has escalated into a full-blown belief system that belongs in the same cat-egory as the great philosophies and religions of the world. That belief system is Catakism.