In Germany a man married his cat when he learned from the vet that she was dying.The article say that it’s illegal to marry animals in Germany, which suggests that it might not be illegal to marry animals somewhere else. As it was, he went through a form of marriage with puss (or Cecilia as she is known to her husband) officiated by an actress. I’ve heard of people marrying people who are dying because they need to make sure of taking care of any children, or to avoid death duties and family problems over inheritance. The article doesn’t say whether the cat had an independent income, or whether there were children or kittens between the German and his pet. Otherwise, I suppose you might marry someone who is dying as an affirmation of love, although what that says about your failure to marry them when they were well, I don’t know. It’s not obvious that the act of marriage secures or ensures love in either or both directions. In some cases marriage is a last ditch attempt to refuse to recognise a relationship that is over. Which perhaps is what, in a way, was happening here.
None of these reasons seem valid in the case of the man marrying his cat. Not even the affirmation of love, since we must suppose the cat would not put the same interpretation on the ceremony as the man would. Maybe an extra helping of food or a fresh mouse would have been a better idea. I saw a comment on Metafilter about Stephen Hawking’s recent suggestion that humanity should not try to contact aliens since they would certainly be more advanced than us and therefore exploit us. (This logic, I believe, was based on what Hawkings knows about humanity rather than what he knows about aliens.) The commenter wondered what aliens could possibly want that we’ve got. Someone suggested ‘pets’.