Herodotus writes that when an Egyptian house was on fire, the inhabitants were more concerned about their cats than their property. When a member of a visiting Roman delegation accidentally killed a cat in 59BC, the man was lynched despite intervention from the king. And the Egyptian sage Ankhsheshonq warned, “Do not laugh at a cat”.
John Gray attracted a lot of attention with his Straw Dogs, described as a radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. I haven’t read Straw Dogs, but Feline Philosophy is certainly not a challenging book. It feels to me like cashing-in on people who combine a love of cats with a vague interest in “the meaning of life” philosophy. If you know people like that, this might be a good Xmas present.
You may recognise your cat’s voice in some of the following “feline hints on how to live well”:
Never try to persuade human beings to be reasonable.
It is foolish to complain that you do not have enough time.
Do not look for meaning in your suffering.
It is better to be indifferent to others than to feel you have to love them.
Forget about pursuing happiness. and you may find it.
Life is not a story.
Do not fear the dark, for much that is precious is found in the night
Sleep for the joy of sleeping. (Amen to that, says Gert).
Beware anyone who offers to make you happy.