2009-08-08

More Cat Cosmology

Long time no ranting, it seems. While I gather my wits to prepare the next concerted series of posts, whet your appetites on these morsels, some afters to the considerable meal that was our examination of Longcat.


Another feline of internet fame, known as Ceiling Cat, originally appeared in the following context:


Fig. 1: Ceiling Cat

The voyeuristic aspect of the cat watching from above seems to have conduced to a kind of deification. Perhaps the vigilant grimalkin resonated with the idea, expressed by many ancient thinkers, that spirits exist to watch over mankind to discourage evil deeds (or that they were invented to this end).


Fig. 2: Ceiling Cat as Sky God

Other images map familiar cosmological operations onto Ceiling Cat:


Fig. 3: Ceiling Cat Creates Man

And, not surprisingly, a counterpart to Ceiling Cat arose to fill the negative role in the dualistic cosmological system imported or inherited from the Abrahamic traditions:


Fig. 4: Cosmological Origin of Basement Cat

Basement Cat, as the cosmological counterpart to Ceiling Cat came to be known, is often depicted with the same grotesquery and horror as is the Devil in many artistic traditions:


Fig. 5: Basement Cat as Devourer of Souls

Occasionally, however, Basement Cat is depicted in a seemingly more innocuous yet still sinister fashion:


Fig. 6: Basement Cat as Seed of Evil

Interestingly, since Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat have assumed the same potentially apocalyptic cosmological roles of light and dark as Longcat and Tacgnol, some iconographic conflation has occurred between the two pairs of feline adversaries:


Fig. 7: Conflated Icons

Note how the conflict over "our souls" — which Basement Cat delights in consuming — has been made paramount, even as the image (actually of Longcat and Tacgnol in confrontation) stresses the clash of the two long cats on even ground. Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat necessarily are portrayed one above the other, though perhaps we can accept the implication that they would meet on a level field for their "Final Battle."

In any case, here we find different felines embodying a different ultimate sacred postulate — one to the effect that people possess souls which may either rise up to Ceiling Cat or fall into an abyssal depth to be eaten by Basement Cat. Some imagery suggests the fate of our souls in this system depends to some extent upon our conduct in life:


Fig. 8: Memento Mori

This image appears to advise us to eschew the pleasures of life, lest they lead us into the basement of damnation.

All this serves as an outstanding example of how an old religious idea system can clothe itself in new imagery and yet essentially maintain its conceptual structure relatively unchanged.

3 comments:

  1. WOOT, WOOT, Lets hear it for Basement cat!

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  2. Hahaha brilliant!

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  3. This is probably one of the funniest and bold takes on religion Ive read so far.

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