Naiden Goof first knew he was a cat when he had a cat’s body, and it was wriggling about. The mother cat was sleeping, but all the other little cats were wriggling about too. Naiden thought he must be a cat, because his mother was a cat, and all the others were all cats, and their bodies were the same as hers, just smaller.
At the same time that he knew himself, he knew about others, and for quite a while, he did not know the difference. When he wriggled, they all wriggled. When he ate, they all ate. The mother cat was warm. That was all they knew.
Things started to change one day when Naiden was thinking about the past. It occurred to him that there had been some times, since he first woke up, when he must have been asleep, because he did not know what had happened.
“What happens, when we are asleep?” he wondered.
Naiden began to do some experiments. He pretended to go to sleep, and then kept his ears open to see what went on. He soon realised something important. Some of the other cats were still wriggling about, while he was lying still, pretending to sleep. They were fighting, and drinking milk from the mother cat, while he was lying there doing nothing.
“At this rate, I shall miss out on things” he said, and got up, ate, and started to clean himself. Then, he noticed that some of the other cats were sleeping. And he didn’t think they were just pretending. Soon he realized that no matter what he did, there was another cat nearby, doing something else that was different. They were not all the same as him. He was a cat unto himself.
“It is not enough anymore, just be a cat” said Naiden. “I suppose that I must be a particular kind of cat.”
And from that day he was a particular kind of cat: he was a ‘thinking of things’ kind of a cat, and a ‘noticing things’ kind of a cat.
But even that kind of cat needs milk, and naps.
Thus Naiden, on the first day he could remember.