When I put the word out yesterday that I was wanting to hear from atheists what god they choose when believers inevitability claim they secretly pray, I got a bunch of different answers, and all were entertaining. There were few repeats, but one name kept coming up over and over again: Bast, also known as Bastet. I'll leave it to experts in ancient history to explain the signficance of this goddess, who was usually portrayed as simply being a cat (instead of being a person with a cat head). Ancient Egyptians are remembered fondly for many reasons, including the pyramids and Cleopatra, but their affection for cats is near the top of the list of reasons modern people think back on that culture and smile.
But the whole thing made me think: why not just cut out the middleman? Why not just pray directly to cats? Well, once that idea was in my head, I realized that a top ten list was in order.
Ten Reasons to Pray to Cats Instead of Gods
1) Cats are real.
2) Because of this, cats have a marginally better chance of answering your prayers than gods do. For instance, if you pray specifically for purring or for someone to scratch your furniture, your cats can probably get that done for you. Not much else, of course, but something is better than nothing.
3) As my buddy Ross said, "Plus, the cuddling and the purring. They actually deliver on the promise of temporal comfort." Science proves him right!
4) Cats may pee on your bed, but they're not going to send you to hell for all eternity.
5) You'll be able to see with your own eyes that the cats appreciate your prayers, whereas gods tend to be notoriously silent with the gratitude.
7) By praying to cats, you run no chance of praying to the same thing at the same time as that putrid douchebag Ross Douthat, who used Hitchens' death to write this horrible sentence: "My hope — for Hitchens, and for all of us, the living and the dead — is that now he finally knows why." The "why" in this case is why Christians believe---Douthat studiously ignores other religions making competing claims with his. But since Christians like Douthat believe that non-believers are going to hell, he basically just wished Hitchens was in hell. Maybe he's too stupid to grasp that, or maybe he thinks that you can sin against his god, but he'll let you in anyway so long as you showed proper contempt for women and Muslims. Who fucking knows? Either way, by praying to cats, you have nothing to do with that kind of mindlesss cruelty remade into "morality" by public displays of piety.
8) Sure, cats enjoy murdering smaller creatures, but they eventually eat them, making good use of the proteins within. If you pray to gods, you have to believe that they make people suffer for no good reason whatsoever.
9) People who may not like cats or who prefer dogs may argue with you about aiming your prayers at cats, but they're unlikely to start a holy war.
10) Cats have never, as far as I know, been used to rationalize denying women reproductive control of their bodies, trapping women in the domestic sphere, or denying gay people their rights. Unlike many gods conjured by humans, cats have no opinion on what you wear, and certainly won't smite you for going about with your hair or your knees uncovered.
I'm sure you all can think of more in comments!