A cat’s eye view


There is nothing more difficult than understanding human mentality.

My master’s present mental state is far from clear; is he feeling angry or light-hearted, or simply seeking solace in the scribblings of some dead philosopher? One just can’t tell whether he’s mocking the world or yearning to be accepted into its frivolous company, whether he is getting furious over some piddling little matter or holding himself aloof from worldly things. Compared with such complexities, cats are truly simple. If we want to eat, we eat; if we want to sleep, we sleep; when we are angry, we are angry utterly; when we cry, we cry with all the desperation of extreme commitment to our grief. Thus we never keep things like diaries. For what would be the point? No doubt human beings like my two-faced master find it necessary to keep diaries in order to display in a darkened room that true character so assiduously hidden from the world. But among cats both our four main occupations (walking, standing, sitting and lying down) and such incidental activities as excreting waste are pursued quite openly. We live our diaries, and consequently have no need to keep a daily record as a means of maintaining our real characters. Had I the time to keep a diary I’d use that time to better effect; sleeping on the veranda.

Soseki Natsume I am a cat vol 1 p. 61-2

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12706161@NO3/12274290756

6 thoughts on “A cat’s eye view

  1. They sound very civilized in many ways and then terrible spontaneously undisciplined. I don’t think any cat has written a book let alone a diary. They are somewhat wanting, don’t you think?

  2. i have been dying to quote my very favourite person in the whole world….Michele de Montaigne who said I am never sure whether I am looking at my cat or my cat is looking at me and anyone who has seriously looked at animals and their behaviour does make one wonder whether they are more evolved than we are.

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