Monday, December 13, 2004

Feelin' Feline

Cat worship began in Egypt, where they first domesticated cats. Plutarch said the cat was carved on Isis' holy sistrum and represented the moon. Cats were so sacred in Egypt that the penalty for killing one was death. Diodorus, a first-century Greek historian, tells of a Roman who killed a cat in Egypt and was killed by an enraged mob.

Bast was the benevolent aspect of Hathor, the Lioness. Her dark side was Hathor as the leonine Sphinx, Sekhmet.

Medieval Christians associated cats with witchcraft (Wicca) and sometimes tortured cats along with accused witches. At certain festivals, such as Midsummer, Easter, and Shrove Tuesday, it was customary to burn cats in wicker cages.

During this period, literally hundreds of thousands of cats were tortured, hung, burned at the stake, roasted alive, or killed outright on sight. So great was this persecution that the population of European cats dwindled to less than ten per cent of its pre- inquisitional number, in spite of the cats doing all they could to make more cats (something cats are very good at).

There are still many who don't respect cats, such as serial killers and Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, who posed as an animal lover, obtained homeless kitties from a shelter and then cut them up:

Mr. Frist is talking about his experiments at Harvard Medical School, and how he'd run out of available lab animals at the Harvard lab and, racing to complete his thesis, he went around to animal shelters, adopted cats, took them home and then cut them up in a lab.

He seemed to enjoy dissecting animals as described in his own words:

"It can even be beautiful and thrilling work, as I discovered that day in the lab when I first saw the wonderful workings of a dog's heart .... I spent days and nights on end in the lab, taking the hearts out of cats, dissecting each heart, suspending a strip of tiny muscle that attaches the mitral valve to the inner wall of the cat heart and recording the effects of various medicines I added to the bath surrounding the muscle."

He seemed to become addicted to the thrill of experimenting on these helpless animals:

"I lost my supply of cats. I only had six weeks to complete my project before I resumed my clinical rotations. Desperate, obsessed with my work, I visited the various animal shelters in the Boston suburbs, collecting cats .... "

Recent studies have shown that many serial killers and other psychopaths showed their first signs of derangement by killing pets and small animals.

The karma of those medieval (midi-evil) Christians arrived in the form of the Black Plaque arriving in infected fleas on rats - rats that could have been contained by predatory cats. I wonder what Bill Frist's karma has in store for him?