I know the Hindu hierarchy puts man at the top, but I’ve never really bought into that. I think it’s sort of a species-based narcissism, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find more enlightened beings than myself inhabiting animal bodies just for the fun of it or to take a break:
God: Oh, man, you were so close to achieving moksha this time when you got hit by that truck! Are you ready to incarnate and try again?
Man: I don’t know, Lord. I’m really tired. Would it be okay if I just slept in the sun the next time out, and maybe have a waiter bring me some snacks from time to time?
God: Of course! Enjoy your time as a cat!