The Cat Sat on the Mat
The cat sat on the mat. Muriel sipped her tea, as the sun flooded through the french windows. She was dazzled by the sun’s glare. She looked over at the cat as it sat on the mat.
Was it really sitting? Or would it be more accurate to say it was slouching? A feline recline? A paw pause?
She looked at the sleek and shiny fur, the sun glancing off the cat’s soft black back. The sheen was just what she could see, but it wasn’t really there. The fur was made of probably millions of hairs – hundreds of thousands anyway – sticking out of an otherwise bald cat. Each hair grown and stroked into place to make it look like a bright and black surface. But there were almost infinite surfaces, infinite circumferences of individual hairs.
Unlike the cat, who came and went, the mat had sat there for years, being moved to the side, by Muriel, to be mopped-under on a weekly basis, before being carefully repositioned. Had it sat any more purposefully than the cat sat now? Did the mat sit there, or was it just placed there? Was the cat sitting on the mat, or did it just want to sit in the sunbeams, and the mat just happened to be there and the sitting on the mat was mere collateral and no more than coincidence.
Maybe the cat sat in the sunshine. The mat was just underneath.
She was sure the cat sat on the mat. I mean, there it was. A mat, a cat, and a relationship between them that was sitting. The cat sat on the mat. The mat was sat on by the cat.
Muriel looked more closely at the cat. The individual hairs that made up the sheen were made up of various proteins, glazed with various feline secretions, dust particles and dirt. The proteins and secretions were made up of atoms. The atoms were made up of sub-atomic particles and between the nuclei and the electrons there was, primarily, space.
When Muriel looked closely enough, it wasn’t so much a cat she could see, but a haze of particles that her mind labelled as a cat. To all intents and purposes it was a cat.
It ate like a cat, walked like a cat, sprang and screeched and fought like a cat. And sat.
The cat was dead.
And it wasn’t a mat; it was a bit of a carpet.