January is a philosophical month for Miss Scout.
The inhospitable weather has us all cooped up more than usual. Well, Dill and Scout are indoor sorts of folks, so they're always in the house, but come spring, they do love to laze on their porch with a warm breeze blowing in through the screens, gently ruffling the fur on their bellies. Scoutie spent this afternoon in the living room, lying in a feeble beam of January sunshine, dreaming of that first April day when we'll throw open the windows to let in the scents of grass and mud and of all the beasties who live outdoors.
I won't lie. She's a practical girl at heart. Hunting is her favorite sport, so it's just as well for all the mice and squirrels and chipmunks and birds that she never leaves her porch.
Since she's relegated to killing nothing more an occasional spider or whatever crawly things live in the corners of the cellar, she has to find other, more creative, ways to pass the time. Thus, in addition to dreaming, she has taken up philosophizing.
Scout eschews ethics, as she most certainly fits Stephen King's categorization of cats as "those amoral gunslingers of the animal world." Instead, she focuses her very considerable attention (never try to beat her in a staring contest) on matters of ontology. I hear her sighing often as she ponders the meaning of life.
Tell me, Dill, why are we here?
What's it all for?
What is the purpose of life?
I'm not as sophisticated or deep a thinker as Miss Scout, but at this point, as far as I can tell, she has reached three essential conclusions:
Why are we here? Treats.
What's it all for? Cuddles.
What is the purpose of life? Naps.
Some would say, "Yes, but that doesn't get to the very essence of ontology, Miss Scout. You aren't asking the most fundamental question: What is existence? In other words, What does it mean for a being to be?
To such questions, Scout responds by rolling on her back, squinting her eyes, and giving the most inscrutable of smiles.
Such is the mystery of