Absolution

Jesuit Church, Solothurn

“Hey, Mrs. Human, did you see that new job you have on that web site you are always doing things with.”

Tabby the one hundred percent cat was at the computer checking her cat mails and doing some Tweets to her other cat friends.

“No Tabby, what are you doing with my bookmarks?”

“Well all my feline friends are having their afternoon sleep so life online is a bit boring at the moment. So what is absolution?”

“Tabby that is a philosophical question, I don’t know whether I can explain that on cat level.”

“Mrs. Human what is cat level, and what is philosophical?”

“Cat level means explaining things that your feline intelligence will know what I am talking about and philosophical is sort of the reason why I suppose.”

“Mrs. Human, when you suppose, generally you don’t really know what you are talking about. So let’s handle absolution.”

“Well it’s like this. When you kill a mouse how do you feel?”

“Fine, Mrs. Human, makes a change from that dry stuff you serve for breakfast, dinner and tea. Adds a bit of variety to the menu.”

“But, Tabby I mean how do you feel about that mouse. She might be a mother, have children, a husband that is waiting for her. Don’t you feel guilty about the fact that she is no longer alive.”

“Sorry Mrs. Human, but look at it this way. If I have a fight with that stupid dog living around the corner and instead of being able to escape he wins, then I am dead, gone, finito. Do you think that dog feels sorry about it. Of course not, he makes another notch on his kennel and all the other dogs applaud. Killing mice is the same but on a smaller scale.”

“Ok, Tabby, but now the philosophical bit. My Tabby cat exists no longer because of a big bad dog. I go to the dog owner’s housee and complain with tears in my eyes. The dog owner then also gets a bad conscience and apologises for what her dog has done. She says she feels so guilty and if she could make things right again she would. She wants absolution from me, meaning that I don’t only forgive her but tell her to forget it, it wasn’t so important after all.”

“Come on Mrs. Human that was just fate. A dog is there to attack cats and I had bad luck. A mouse is a supplement to my daily dish of food. Her family just had bad luck. What’s a conscience Mrs. Human?”

“You know what Tabby, just carry on being a cat, the neighbour’s dog will continue to be a dog and we humans just might be on the wrong track with the absolution thing. Perhaps we should just do our best to get along with each other.”

In other words I gave up trying to explain to a cat what absolution is and realised that even I myself do not really understand what it is all about.

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