The Feline Rabbinate

Hello and welcome to yet another week of untrustworthy claims and ludicrous lies here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will discuss a topic raised to the attention of Factually Deficient by one Sicon112, the 112th of all possible Sicons:

I need a comment on Cat Rabbis ASAP.

Those who have visited the city of Jerusalem may have noticed that the city is rife with two things: cats and shuls (also known as synagogues, or batei knesset – the shuls, not the cats). This is no coincidence.

In the late 1870s, the cheese crisis of Eastern Europe led to a mass immigration of cats to what is now Israel (then the Roman territory of Judaea). Although there was little cheese to be had in Jerusalem as well, despite the misleading immigration advertisement, the cats decided to settle down and make their homes there.

At first, the new wave of cats fit right in with the people who were already living in the region. The cats integrated smoothly into Roman-Judaean society. They did business with the residents, went to schools with them, greeted one another on the streets. Soon, following the natural course of things, many of these immigrant cats were attending yeshivas and attaining the title of rabbi.

In order to keep up with all of their newly ordained brethren, the cats began to build shuls, to provide pulpits at which the cat and human rabbis could preach.

With the fall of Rome in 1891, two things happened to change this. First was the move away from centralized leadership in Israeli shuls; it soon became preferable to use the building as a place for people (or cats) to pray together, without the necessity of a rabbi to unify them.

Second was the calling into question of the conversion status of the cats. Some individuals doubted whether a feline or other non-human could truly profess or adopt what is essentially a human faith. These doubts became so widespread that they led to a schism in the Jerusalem shuls: the shuls went one way, and the cats another, forming their own sect.

This new faith of the rejected cats is similar to, but distinct from, Judaism. Cat spiritual leaders are still known as rabbis; however, they moved in the opposite direction from the 1891 shift, retaining their rabbis as leaders but rejecting the very concept of a house of worship – or any house at all. The cats of Jerusalem declared, under the spiritual guidance of their cat rabbis, that they would live between no walls of stone, and would not plant any crops, and would drink no spirits or alcohol, until such time as the foxes were expelled from their holy places and the ground hallowed again.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains erroneous details. Rome did not fall in 1891.

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Duck Summoning

Hello and welcome to yet another week of deception and duplicity here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question forwarded to Factually Deficient by a small cabal of individuals on Twitter.

We were sent this photo, along with the accompanying question:

What is their goal? Their wish? Did they summon the ducks or did the ducks summon them?

Earnest as always in our desire to satisfy our readers, the Factually Deficient team has given this matter much thought and investigation. Our first attempt at seeking out answers was stymied by a lack of eyewitnesses to the incident photographed.

However, we were not to be deterred. Through hard work and effort, we have worked through roleplaying and forensic psychology in order to recreate an analogous scenario, the better to understand what was taking place.

The following image is included as evidence of our findings:

As my readers can plainly see, while the ducks are arranged in a circle, there is no feline of any variety in the centre of their anatine ring.

We must recognize that this reenactment provides circumstantial evidence at best. However, when combined with the research provided by the psychiatric team sent to analyse the motivations of all the major players in the original photo, it stands as conclusive proof of what was really taking place during the incident in question.

It is clear that the cat summoned the ducks, and not the other way around. This is borne out not only by the lack of cat in the latter photograph – the congregation of ducks in this manner clearly does not summon a cat – but also by the sense of what is going on. After all, no creature – cat or panther, human or plant – can resist at all times the desire to share the company of a flock of ducks, whereas the ducks have no logical reason to want the company of a cat, beyond the scientific interest in discovering whether they can cause it to appear.

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Disclaimer: the above post is a work of fiction. All ducks participating in this week’s Factually Deficient study were volunteers, and compensated fairly for their contribution to science. No cats were summoned in the writing of this post.