The Muse Papers


On Worshiping Cats


The neighborhood cat – Burrito – is teaching me how to be worshiped.  I learn this critical skill slowly and she give me many opportunities to practice.

Here’s the scoop.

Often in the evenings, when I’m busily working on my archery supply store, Burrito will leap onto the bed and demand access to my lap.

I automatically remove my laptop from my lap (she has me well trained), whereupon she ambles onto my lap and settles in for some worshiping.  Namely me worshiping her.

I’ve started to wonder why I do it.  What is the allure of this transaction?  I am not generally easy to interrupt, except perhaps for fine wine and dark chocolate.  Ask my friends, that’s uncharacteristic behavior.

After meditating upon it for several days, I’ve realized that what I get out of it is the enjoyment of her enjoyment.  Burrito very clearly and obviously loves these orgiastic petting settings,  she adores it, she convinces me that my petting is the most wonderful thing that has happened to her in a lifetime of wonderful things.

What do I get out of it?  I get clear validation that I have value.  I can make a cat amazingly happy.

So I start to consider the players, the worshiper and the worshipee – and the role of each and the precarious balance of pleasure.

I consider the key elements of both roles

My responsibilities as the worshiper – to worship in the way that provides the most pleasure to the worshipee (Burrito in this case) – to focus only on how to pet her to provide maximal pleasure.  To listen and watch her none-to-subtle cues and learn the art of worshiping her.

And each cat is different.  I tried to worship Pagan (my friend Mel’s cat) the way I worship Burrito and got a row of scratches for my efforts.

The responsibilities Burrito as the Worshipee – to accept worship that is clearly her due with abandon.  To clearly, abundantly and unequivocally enjoy the worship.  To communicate with abandon to the worshiper ways to maximize that pleasure.  To make the worshiper feel like the best cat petter in the entire world – ever.  Nothing more, nothing less.

I have seen this done well, both by cats and by women and personally I have always stumbled upon the twin rocks of guilt and reciprocity.  I have never, until now, seen it as a complete experience in and of itself – one with value for each party complete within the interaction.  No need for more.

When Burrito has had enough attention, she daintily gets up and hops off my lap.  I pull my laptop over and go back to work.  Neither of us feeling any unresolved obligations from the interaction.

Go figure.  The things I learn from the cat.

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“On Worshiping Cats”

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