The arch-realist in my living room


Seldom doing anything unless it serves a definite purpose or gives immediate satisfaction, cats are arch-realists. Faced with human folly, they simply go their own way….

Living in accord with their nature, cats do not need moral instruction. Dissatisfaction with our natural condition, on the other hand, seems to be natural for human beings. The human animal never ceases to strive for some higher form of life. Cats make no such effort. Without any process of laborious cogitation, these lucid, playful and supremely adaptable creatures already know how to live.

John Gray, reviewing Abigail Tucker’s The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World

14 thoughts on “The arch-realist in my living room

    1. Love dogs too and we always had them as kids (our father was a kind of Francis of Assisi for dogs) but haven’t had one as an adult because I didn’t think it was fair to leave a dog at home while we were out at work. Cats don’t care as long as the food is there, the bed is warm and preferably the sun is shining. I like the way they don’t care about pleasing you.

      1. Time to get another armchair! I like the idea of having both a cat and a dog, and because we are sort of semi-retired (at least Jim is) the dog would have enough company.

        I was wondering why dogs don’t show up in haiku very much — not as often as cats or birds or insects. They just don’t have a haiku world view.

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