The monk’s name is Luang Pi Komkrit Taechachoto. He is praying at Wat Udomrangsi, a temple on the outskirts of Bangkok. I think that with his fellow monks he is involved in chanted meditation or prayers. As I understand it, Buddhist monks do not pray to a God. The monk is quiet and contemplative. He has a cat companion who has no concept Buddhism and does not understand that his human companion does not want to be disturbed. All the cat sees is his human companion sitting down quietly in a position which is receptive to the cat. The more senior monk to the left looks at his junior colleague and observes his struggles with his cat companion. I think that the senior monk is a little perturbed by what he sees but appears to be understanding as well.
The presence of the cat, I think, is very apt because animals have always been regarded in Buddhist thought as sentient beings, Wikipedia tells us. They believe that animals possess Buddha nature and therefore are a potential for enlightenment. They also believe in the doctrine of rebirth and that any human could be reborn as an animal and any animal could be reborn as a human. I wonder if this monk regards his cat companion as the reincarnation of a person who has died and who he knew. I am, of course, speculating but, as mentioned, animals play an important role in Buddhism.
As far as I’m aware, despite the fact that Buddhist regard animals are sentient beings, this does not translate to enhanced animal welfare based upon what I hear from a friend of mine who is married to a Thai woman and who spends part of the year in Thailand. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist.
SOME PAGES ON ATTENTION SEEKING CATS: