Are Cats ‘Persons’?

While the cats in this video amuse themselves (and us) in sundry ways, I continue to ponder a certain question.

To what extent are cats… persons? And the same question may be asked of dogs, mice, and various other animals.

Don’t worry, I’m not going all PETA on you. “Animal Rights” is foolishness. Nevertheless, the point is important enough to be made in the Bible: “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).

We who have lived with cats (and dogs) know they have individual personalities; each and every one is unique. They can initiate their own actions, for reasons which are sometimes a mystery to us. They display joy and sorrow: I have had a cat grieve and be depressed over the death of his sister, and I had to work hard to help him out of it. Most of all, when we love them, they love us back.

These are all part of being a person.

What our pets don’t have is original sin (rolling in poo or chewing shoelaces doesn’t count). They are affected by the results of our original sin, but have none of their own.

What they are, when all is said and done, is one of God’s wonderful gifts to us. If we’d been creating the world, we never would have thought of it. But God did, because He loves us and He knew our cats and dogs would do us good.

7 comments on “Are Cats ‘Persons’?

  1. Science has drawn the lines on this discussion as they see fit, but I don’t agree with their conclusions. I’ve seen examples of feelings in animals too many times. I once had a dog that seemed to,have a sense of humor and that loved Jazz. When I put Jazz on the stereo he would lie between the speakers and take it in.

    My cat seems to,live for the attention I give her and if I ignore her she acts like she’s hurt by the rejection. She insists that I give her a sample of whatever I am eating. Her feelings may not be as deep as a human would have, but there is definitely an emotional attachment.

    I think that the Creator has plans that go far beyond anything we’ve imagined and I think that the animal kingdom will reveal itself to be far more capable than we think the, to be.

    1. We don’t want to be taking “science” too seriously, now, do we?

      When my iguana outgrew the perch he’d had since he was a baby, I took it out and replaced it. So he sat on the floor of the cage and sulked until I put the old perch back in, beside the new one. Then he sat contentedly on the new perch and draped his tale over the old.

    2. Imagine that, a reptile, which is supposed to be one of the least smart creatures, but it obviously has a sense of possession. In the restoration of all things we will see what animals are truly capable of.

    3. I think I know why you call yourself “UnKnowable.” Looking forward to when “lions lie down with the lambs” and playing with bears – and swimming with the sharks…

  2. Cats and dogs, and other pets, “are affected by the results of our original sin, but have none of their own.” Yes, and babies we also call “innocent” are born with it. But God gave us these loving animals to help us overcome our sin nature. They remind us to be humble and grateful. Yes.

    1. I find that I am touched by animals because of this very reason. They are pure in motive (even if their motive is to get a bite of our food they are still undeceptive about it) and innocent of all sin. The animal kingdom has borne a heavy burden because of mankind’s disobedience and by no fault of their own.

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