An afternoon, a sky covered in grey clouds, a corner near the ocean where a cat is playing with a mouse. At first I’m sure the mouse must be dead, as it’s dangling lifelessly between the cat’s teeth. But when the cat sets it down almost gently, the mouse looks around for a moment, then darts off into the bushes.
Alas, there is no hope.
The cat, its tail curling left and right, has been watching attentively, anticipating every move. With one leap it’s on top of the mouse, pinning it down with its paw. For a moment I think about their relative sizes. If I was that mouse, I wonder, then the cat would be, what…a T-Rex?
Again, the cat sets the mouse down; again, the mouse tries to run; again, the cat pounces upon the mouse. This is being repeated over and over, while the mouse is getting slower and slower and the cat seems increasingly bored.
“But”, says the mouse as it is catching its breath: “I actually have to thank the cat! Were it not for this cat, then who would be protecting me from the other, more dangerous predators? And am I not still alive, even as I find myself temporarily wedged between the cat’s teeth? Do you really not see that this cat is providing me with a safe and stable environment to keep playing our game?”
And then it tried to run, one more time.