I have never liked cats--then, she appeared recently out of nowhere, a scrawny, crying, clinging, pitiable cat-infant. I am advised that she is a Calico cat, which I am also advised is not a breed of cat, but a description of the coat color--a mixture of tortoiseshell fur (black and orange) and white fur.
What was I to do? So young, and so undernourished, she would not have lasted long on her own. She seemed to know it, and she seemed desperately to want me to know it. I could have tolerated her suffering on the theory that she has no soul, but such a theory could not mean that she felt no pain. If, on the other hand, it only means that, as a lower animal, she has no moral responsibilities or immortality, then it seemed to make my tolerating her suffering even harder to justify than human suffering. Unlike humans, she couldn't deserve her suffering, profit morally from the discipline suffering induces, or be compensated with happiness in the next life. Pain and suffering without guilt or fruit is severe, desperately frightening, and ultimately unbearable, whether one is a lower or a higher animal.
In the end, I decided not to get too carried away with the state of a kitten's immaterial self (if it has one). As C.S. Lewis thought, God may yet do something for such innocents in the new heaven and new earth to come. Rather, I decided that whether I tolerated a helpless kitten's suffering or not, when it was within my power to alleviate it, said too much about my own immaterial self for me to conveniently ignore. So, she adopted me. Her name is Bella.