Darling Nikki

One member of the Resistential community cannot understand why the rest of us are so attached to our (or each others’) cats. Perhaps we do fall into the quite typical trap of anthropomorphism when interacting with our cats, but despite that, they remain wonderful companions. And they are undoubtedly resistential – they may in fact be the ones who brought the movement to this planet.

On Saturday night, my father called from another continent to say that Nikki had died. Nikki, who had been with me, and then him, through 16 years. Those years included 2 divorces on the father’s part, and when I last visited, it was clear that the feline was a real companion throughout. It was also clear that he quite resented the current wife’s rule that Nikki was to sleep only in a small box near the kitchen, with stolen excursions onto laps, and absolutely no prospect of couch privileges.

The worst part of hearing this news was the sadness I could hear in my father’s voice, when he recounted his hand in the accident that led to the veterinarian’s rooms, and the subsequent euthanasia. I hope that Nikki was indeed as intellectually challenged as cats are meant to be, and that she never had an idea of his hand in her suffering – it wouldn’t have been a fair reflection of what she meant to him at all.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.