Friday, September 25, 2009

The Study of Physics as applied to Playtime

Dearest Log,

Had you suggested to me ten or even five years ago that the domestic housecat as a species discovered the concept of physics before fire, the wheel, or simple machinery, I would have given no warning before riddling your daydreaming skull with bullets. I've killed men for suggesting less.

However, as a cat, I find this suggestion, ludicrous as it sounds, to be absolutely true.

Continually, I test the bounds of reality, gravity, and the physical properties of objects throughout my waking hours. Will the water in the glass remain wet, or will its physical form change to steam, or ice at any moment? One can't know until one's paws are dipped repeatedly into the surface. The Humans entertain themselves by musing 'Oh, the cat is testing whether water is wet again!' before dumping the glass and refilling it. The irony of destroying the test object in the middle of an experiment, and necessitating that it immediately be tested again, is lost upon them. 'Dammit Herzog, you were just in your litterbox! Stop putting your goddamn feet in my water!' Thus is scientific research stymied by the minds of the mundane.

Another hypothesis of the species as a whole is gravity, and thus every cat in existence is testing this with every object on the planet, and creating a collective memory of the results. A cat in Mumbai is studiously pushing a roll of tape off the table, as a cat in Akron does the same with a box of sewing needles. Constantly, all over the world, cats are continually pushing small objects onto the floor in order to ensure that yes, the gravity is indeed still working.

Alas, we have only the theories, and no opposable thumbs with which to record our findings. We have evolved the observational skills before we evolved the ability to process them, and so these experiments into the nature of reality are practiced over and over, with little thought to consequence. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, be it a pencil, or an expensive cellular phone that the Humans cannot afford to replace.

I know nothing of the object's inherent worth. I am a slave to my species' research.