Most obligations are promises you make, entered into freely. There are some things like paying taxes you have to do. But most things are promises you make of your own free will.

Except in the case of cats. Say you’re walking down the sidewalk, and a cat walks up to you, crying to be petted. You are under strict orders from God to pet the cat. It’s an obligation no less firm than the vows you made to your spouse. (Or, in the case of some people, quite a bit more firm.)

You can of course ignore this obligation without consequence.

That is, if you call an afterlife spent bobbing up and down in a swirling lake of molten lava of no consequence.

17 Sep 2002