Are your secretly held beliefs about your kitties similar to Buddhist beliefs about cats?
Cats have a special affinity for Buddhism. For that matter, they have a special affinity for all religions because they consider themselves sacred.
Mind you, that’s from the cat’s point of view. Humans have not always taken such a sanguine view of cats. During the Middle Ages in Europe, cats were associated with the devil, evil, and witchcraft, and were killed en masse. Some scholars believe that the near decimation of the cat population contributed in part to the Bubonic plague.
Cats weren’t particularly well regarded by Buddhists, either: they came up with a story that cats were banned from heaven for rebelling against Buddha. (The most likely cause for the uprising is that Buddha failed to produce the right kibbles for the kitties, or refused to offer up his lap while meditating.)
Legend notwithstanding, Buddhism honors the cat – as well as all other animals – as sentient beings capable of suffering and joy, living creatures that seek life and happiness. From this perspective then, all creatures—and not just Americans—have the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness.
The Buddhist doctrine of reincarnation makes it hard for humans to lord it over animals (though they still manage to). After all, a person can be reborn as an animal, and an animal can be reborn as a person.
Being born a human is considered a great gift because it gives you a better chance to attain enlightenment and redemption, not to mention the ability to pay taxes.
So, love your cats. Treat them well. Who knows, in your next incarnation, they might turn out to be your boss at work – or maybe even your dear old mom.