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In my seminal post, Enthralled, I made mention of Cats’ intrinsic divinity. Much like Egyptian goddess Bastet, Cats may transform, spontaneously, from purring snuggle-puss to vicious predator.

Beautiful Tortico


The answer:

Cats are mercurial.

Mercurial? Isn’t that the stuff my mom put on my scrapes when I was four?”

No, human. No. Read on.

Cats are free spirits. Unlike people, we are not constrained by self-inflicted cultural mores. Our moods ebb and flow like the wind, the tide, the level of kibble in our bowls. Our actions follow.


Earthly element mercury, grudgingly, grows brittle at -38 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite our luxurious coats, Cats, too, have an inherent distaste for cold weather. Paws chafe. Whiskers frost. Deceptive snow drifts collapse as we step, rendering us limbs deep in indignity.

The pleasure of Feline company is not known in arctic regions.

At room temperature, mercury is fluid. Like Cats, under the most mundane of circumstance, mercury enjoys the freedom to gather, retreat, entertain (remember the fun of a broken thermometer?), and threaten (“DON’T TOUCH!,” your mother shrieked).

Nobody tells mercury what to do.

Sound familiar?


Swift planet Mercury zips around the sun, leaving the rest of the spheres to lumber in his solar dust – a Cat among lesser beings. Every 3 lunar months, in the eyes of geocentric humanity, Mercury halts his tracks, then retreats backwards, as if to apologize for outpacing the earth. Typical of people to presume the fastest planet gives a whit about fragile egos on a different world.

Humans, know that when your Cat races around the house, then backtracks under the bed to evade you, she is not embarrassed or chastened. She’s doing what Cats do, perhaps taking small joy in your vexation.

More likely, she’s indifferent. and ready for a nap.


Planet Mercury’s namesake… Mercury… is the Roman god of communication. Fleet of foot, this benevolent messenger turns trickster as patron of thievery.

Often, chatty Felines grow tired of humans’ inattentiveness to our fascinating orations. When ignored or shooed off, we resort to purloining unattended tidbits, sparkly gems, berets and hair bands, as retribution for the slight.

Missing your favorite earrings?

Maybe you’ll listen better next time.


Cats, above humans and lesser creatures, reserve the right to recast ourselves on whim.

Our likeness to the qualities of Mercury, in all varied forms, is no affectation; no smug arrogance. It is our nature – divinely changeable, unpredictable…


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