Cats and Disbelief

atheist grump

It was hard for me to ever believe in the Christian god. Not for very dramatic reasons, I was just always skeptical for as long as I can remember back. What stands out to me the most as something that made it hard for me to really firmly believe is my love of cats. May sound like a silly reason at first to not believe in god, but I think it makes sense.
I’ve had cats since I was a baby and I’ve always felt a connection with them. I’ve always loved staring into their eyes, sleeping with them, petting them, and of course playing with them. There have been many occasions of me falling asleep to the sound of purring since I was little. When I was really young I was fascinated with anything related to cats. A lot of my toys, books, and other things were cat related and that’s still kind of the case today.
I don’t remember how exactly I became interested in Ancient Egypt, but I became interested in it when I was pretty young and I used to love to read books and watch Discovery or History Channel shows about it. The thing that struck me about Ancient Egypt was that they had held cats in high regard and they had cat gods. I of course related to how much they admired felines. It made so much sense to me that people would look at a cat and see something magical about it. The concept that people make up gods was pretty easy for me to understand because of that.
I also wasn’t taken to church on a regular basis until I was around 6 years old. I tried to absorb what I was told and get into it like the people around me, but I always struggled with that and felt out of place. The thought that people make gods up and the gods I had read about before always nagged in the back of my mind. We went to a simple Lutheran church that wasn’t decorated much but had a skylight over the altar and I used to stare at it and think about how thousands of years ago people were worshiping different gods and performing different rituals. I would try really hard to convince myself that church made sense but it hardly ever did besides the “golden rule” type messages the pastor would say during his sermon.
Besides what I had learned about Ancient Egypt, there was another thing I learned about cats that also made it difficult for me to believe. There was a video rental store we went to all the time that had educational videos that were free to rent, and my mom of course loved when my brother and I picked those out. There was a National Geographic video that was just called “Cats” and I rented that a ridiculous amount of times and watched it over and over each time I had it for a few days. It explained how domestic cats and large cats like lions and tigers have a common ancestor and evolved. Even though I was a little kid, it wasn’t that hard for me to understand and I didn’t think a god needed to be a part of the process. Sometimes I tried to squeeze god in, but then that barely made sense to me.
I did have moments of guilt for not believing and would try to convince myself to believe. There were many times I would try to suppress my skeptical thoughts and would tell myself that maybe I was just missing something that others around me got. After a while I realized that there was something that they didn’t get.