Monday, June 27, 2005

A Cat on a Lawn

On our regular walk this evening, Claire and I saw a cat lying in the middle of a lawn. We stopped to pet him, but frankly, he wasn't terribly interested in us. He was too busy monitoring the scent matrix around him, which is virtually unknown to us. Humans have about 5 million scent receptors, but cats have 200 million. Since their vision is about a tenth of ours, their sensorium is not particuarly linear, but surrounds them entirely and extends much further than our own. Admittedly, our sense of hearing has a wide-range. But, cat's hearing is even more accute than dog's hearing. Their senses are so accute that they can differentiate between locations of sounds at less than 5 degrees appart, and still the sensorium is uni-directional.

Therefore, cat is a node in a scent and noise network that is non-centralized, and even perhaps non-localized in the physical sense, making the cat Schroedinger's cat, if only in spirit. Schroedinger actually said once that the sum total of all minds is one, and the biosphere seems to act as one mind in a larger version of the way that a colony of ants moves together as one body. Applying non-locality (admittedly the strangest idea in physics) to the biological world is a "crackpot" idea, but some are starting to do just that. For instance, Rupert Sheldrake's Morphogenetic Field Theory is beginning to catch on in European scientific circles and may finally be accepted by the scientific community, just as soon as he's dead. Does this cat live in a sensory matrix that is affected by Singapore, for example? It's too fantastic to believe, but if it were true it would mean that this cat senses us in the same way that parts of the same body sense each other. He wouldn't be terribly interested because he doesn't experience alterity.

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