Friday, September 29, 2006

Every few nights I get out my laser pointer and indulge my cats in a frenetic game of "chase." Cats are natural hunters, and they're effectively incapable of not looking at the quickly moving red dot that I project onto the carpet, walls, or any piece of furniture that happens to be in its path.

To my cats, the red dot possesses its own vitality. It exists as a distinct entity. While they may see me holding the pointer, they can't (or won't) be distracted by such things once the button is pressed and the living room is suddenly alive with luminous vermin. So they chase it. And chase it. And, if they get close enough, even take swipes at it -- in which case I make the dot "flee" or disappear in what seems like a concession of defeat (which, of course, only further arouses the cats' predatory curiosity).





All the while I'm controlling the red dot, I'm taking pains to make it behave like something intelligible. Just waving the pointer around the room wouldn't be any fun. So I make it "climb," "jump" and scuttle when cornered -- even though the laser's impervious to obstructions.

This sense of physicality seems to be the element that makes chasing the laser so engaging -- both for the cats and for me.

I can't help but be reminded of our continuing search for assumed extraterrestrial vehicles. UFO sightings demonstrate many of the same aspects of a typical feline laser hunt: mysterious disappearances, "impossible" maneuvers and a predilection for trickery -- the apparent desire to be seen despite (or because of) a technology presumed to be far in advance of our own. More than one UFO researcher has noted that UFOs behave more like projections or holograms than nuts-and-bolts craft . . . an observation that begs the nature of the intelligence doing the projecting.

According to astrophysicist Jacques Vallee, UFOs are part of a psychosocial conditioning system by which perceived "rewards" are doled out to reconcile for the dearth of irrefutable physical evidence. The phenomenon -- whatever its ultimate nature -- obstinately denies itself, thus enabling the very game it's intent on playing with us.

We see that sudden spark of red light; we pounce. This time we'll catch it for sure.

12 comments:

Paul Kimball said...

Well said.

PK

mister ecks said...

i have often thought the exact same thing
while using a laser pointer to play with my cats.

Anonymous said...

I like doing that with the kitties too! I always worry if it will hurt ther eyes if they look directly at it - do you know?

RJU said...

I have always entertained the idea that cats may be extremely intelligent alien beings that use us for their pleasure...

Perhaps UFO's are cats playing with us? Has anyone correlated cats being nearby and UFO sightings? Of course if a cat does not want you to see it, you can't, so it might be impossible to make this study.

Lani C said...

My cat is completely unfazed by the laser pointer gyrations. Instead, she just watches the hand holding the pointer. Which one of the mammels is smarter?

Dustin said...

Am I the only person who doesn't own a laser pointer? My poor deprived cat...

ufoia1310 said...

I don't have a laser pointer OR a cat...

I think Mac's point is a good one, however!

The Odd Emperor said...

Every few nights I get out my laser pointer and indulge my cats in a frenetic game of "chase." Cats are natural hunters, and they're effectively incapable of not looking at the quickly moving red dot that I project onto the carpet, walls, or any piece of furniture that happens to be in its path....

Dang you Mac! :-)

About two years ago I wrote a short story on exactly that subject. With exactly the same conclusions! I guess great minds do think alike (which begs the question, what could possibly be MY excuse!)

Chris said...

I love the idea that UFO's might be intrusions into our reality from a more complex origin, like a 3 dimensional model of a hypercube - we can model the shadow cast in three dimensions of a four dimensional object, but we can't model the object itself, or even visualize it.

Mac said...

I like doing that with the kitties too! I always worry if it will hurt ther eyes if they look directly at it - do you know?

I'm careful to keep the beam from their eyes; I don't know why it wouldn't hurt them.

About two years ago I wrote a short story on exactly that subject. With exactly the same conclusions!

A short-story? Good idea. And here all I did was write a post for a blog!

I love the idea that UFO's might be intrusions into our reality from a more complex origin, like a 3 dimensional model of a hypercube

I'm keen on that, too. We're Flatlanders.

Mike Clelland! said...

LINK
http://hiddenexperience.blogspot.com/2010/02/macs-voice-talking-about-cats.html

Audio of Mac reading the essay.

steve sawyer said...

Well, Mac, even though you've become a vibrating string or wave form, in quantum theory, I still think you ought to patent the "laser pointer used to play with cats" idea.

Oh, too late:

http://tinyurl.com/26uw89a

While I have grave doubts that your attempting to legally argue first usage to null this patent from beyond the heliosphere as a non-corporeal presence will obviate this patent, I suppose there's a lawyer somewhere who might take the case on your behalf. Harvey Birdman, attorney at law comes to mind, but then he's non-corporeal, too. *sigh*

We all still miss you, Mac.

For further edification of those seriously interested, here's a charming drawing from the patent concerned, demonstrating just how to use your special laser pointer (note it's built into its own exotic raygun packaging):

http://tinyurl.com/3qc3ddo

Mac would have appreciated this.