I am not sure that animals really want to be sent into space.
They seem all too comfortable down here.
Yet ever since the days that the Russians wanted to show that theirs was bigger than anyone else's, there's been a twisted fascination with the idea of animals in the outer darkness.
It was the innocent Russian pooch Laika who may have started the trend by being the first animal to orbit the Earth.
These days, I am amazed no one has sent an ostrich up there to see if its neck gets bent out of shape.
Still, the Iranians have been keen to shoot all sorts of animals into space. As the Associated Press reports, they have already claimed to have sent up a monkey.
Now they are rumored ready to dispatch a symbol of opulent indolence: the Persian cat.
This highly furry animal is normally seen only on the laps of ladies with at least three fingers on each hand adorned by jewels.
What on Earth is it going to do away from Earth?
Its little round face, so often expressing the bored misery of plenty, will surely only express the same, but worse, when forced to put on a helmet or float about a spacecraft.
How unseemly it will be if its hair is permanently made to stand on end. How troubling if the Persian has health complications.
As the Telegraph once reported, Persians can have trouble with breathing. They also can be weepers.
This would not make for happy television at all. Children will weep with them, causing the Iranian space program to tumble into disrepute.
The AP does mention that a mouse and a rabbit are also being thought of as the next Iranian space animals.
This seems a touch more appropriate.
Mice and rabbits seem happy in most places. They have a history of being caged up and having to tolerate the whims of humans.
And, let's face it, one less mouse or rabbit won't make that much difference, will it?