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She’s More Moral Than I Am!
By Yana L.
age: 14
Illinois

I have this great money-making idea! It’s going to be a television show called “Are You More Moral Than Your Cat?” It will soon be the most popular show on television and it will beat the ratings of “American Idol” and “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” And before you tell me that I need to go to the soft place with men in white coats and spongy rooms, please listen. I’m SURE that it’s going to be very successful! We already made a demo of the show during which I’m up against my cat, Kisa.

People have always wondered how intelligent they are. You don’t hear a lot about morality, though. Now with my show it’s all going to change! It is based on Kohlberg’s Stages Of Moral Development and the stages go from one to six. Basically, the larger the number is the more moral. One and two is self-morality, three and four is group morality, and five and six is overall morality.

But first, let me introduce you to my cat. Her name is Kisa. She is a moody little Siamese. She’s really long and has the voice of… well, to put it nicely, her voice is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. But overall, she’s cute, and pretty smart, too (just last week she helped me with my Algebra II homework).

Using Kohlberg’s Stages Of Moral Development, she ranges from stage one to stage three. She might not protect the house or risk her life to save a fellow kitty who happens to be drowning, but she cares. Mostly about herself.

But she cares for us pathetic humans, as well. Whenever one of the family is upset, she would come and cheer them up, by licking, purring, rubbing, and doing other various things that cats around the world do. Then after cheering us up, she moves on to her next important task, licking herself for the hundredth time today. That’s her being in her highest moral stage, which was a three. At least I thought it was her highest….

Now, as we are on the show, the host compares my highest morality level to my cat’s. I proudly announce that my highest was six. Kisa’s was three; so far I am ahead. And that was round 1.

It’s now time for round two. I intently listen to the question, while Kisa is somewhere eating whatever they put into cat food. The question is, “Would you share your food with anyone else?” Kisa, having just eaten, declined her food, which would be a six, because no self respecting cat can refuse food. Now it’s my turn. A couple of yards in front of me, the host puts a half-pound bar of chocolate. While I was trying to get it, I ever-gracefully tackled everyone in the way and daintily stuffed myself like a pig. Which just happened to be a two, “acting in self-interest.” Now Kisa is one point ahead.

Now look at my side of this, I might be losing, but at least I’m not hungry! Humans really are the greatest species. We know how to survive. Thank God I’m a human!

There’s some guy who did an experiment where a Rhesus monkey was hungry. In order to get food, he (the monkey, not the guy) needed to pull a chain, which would also deliver a powerful electric shock to a companion. Here’s something you won’t believe: the monkeys would actually starve themselves for several days in order to not hurt their friends! I mean, a friend would get shocked, big deal! If I was them, I’d even do it on purpose if that friend happened to make funny noises while hundreds of watts were traveling through their body! And it depends on the food, as well. Who can DARE to resist chocolate? In my opinion, it would be unethical to try to stay away from the mouth-watering temptation! So think how I felt when points were being deducted—can you believe it!?—after I ate chocolate! But there is one more round left. Let’s kick some… tail!

Round three. I, being the intelligent human being, was already able to see myself holding the golden trophy. Then they brought the chocolate. Next to the chocolate was catnip. So THAT’s how they motivate the competitors! The third round looked pretty easy. There was a maze and all you had to do was get through it by reading the cards, which had the directions on how to get through. I have no idea how Kisa would read, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t really want to know, but I think she had a trick up her sleeve. Wait, do cats even have sleeves? Never mind that. I started going anyway because I am the honest, rational, and intelligent human being.

I was lucky. With my brilliant intellect and motivation, I got to the middle while my cat was at the beginning, licking herself. I kept on going, even though I did feel a little bad for her.

I wish I could make the trip through the maze sound more heroic. I could say that I went through hurricanes with alligators and the government at my heels (Oh NO! Not the government!!!). I could say that I was going uphill while it was raining. I could say that I ALMOST stopped, starving, dehydrated, and lacking sleep after nine days of nonstop dedication to the maze… but I can’t say that. It took me only seven minutes so far and the only tragedy is that I needed to visit the ladies’ room. But I could almost taste the victory… and there were two yards left… and then I heard a cheer. At that moment, I’m thinking, “Oh, maybe the audience is cheering for me because I am almost done!” As I walk out, grinning and waving at everybody, I see….

My cat.

Apparently, she did not want to go through the maze. So she decided to walk AROUND because the guy in the funny suit had catnip. And by doing so, she got 6 points, because she was “acting on what’s right; not what’s expected, legal or socially acceptable.” I got three points. The host said that I was “trying to act good in other people’s eyes.” I still cannot believe my own cat would do that to me. No more kitty treats for her. We are soooo over!

So my cat might be more moral than I am, but at least I got my chocolate! And now my show will be an immediate success, because admit it, who wouldn’t pay to see me look like an idiot?

And I should have won. Because I am the intelligent, moral human being! I just… uh… lost to make her feel good! So she’ll have a story to tell to her grandkitties! It… uh… was a setup!

She walked around. Why didn’t I think of that?
 

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