How to Think Like a Cat - Stephane Garnier 2018
Your Cat Is Impenetrable to Judgement
’Now a cat, she’s got her own opinion about human beings. She don’t say much, but you can tell enough to make you anxious not to hear the whole of it’
JEROME K. JEROME
It’s an observation that has often amused me: cats don’t care a jot if they’re appreciated or not, be it by people or by other cats.
Cats are independent, solitary characters. On the rare occasions they attach themselves to humans or to other animals, it is by choice and with discernment. This means that quite naturally — and with not a little pleasure — they ignore what other people think of them, something that we humans tend to accord far too much importance to.
Cats don’t have this need to be loved, appreciated, admired and at the very least accepted by ’other people’. Cats simply are. Their own view of themselves is all that matters.
Of course we cannot live just by contemplating our own navel, that’s not the point. But the balance between self-esteem and what other people think often tilts excessively in the wrong direction.
There is abundant proof all around us of the obsession with appearance in our society. Just look at the media. Personal image has become a cult, not for oneself but for others. Yet it’s the biggest fraud we can commit upon ourselves.
Appear cool, appear young, appear rich, appear intelligent, appear tolerant, appear fun, appear open-minded, appear, appear, appear. It’s the leitmotif of the last few decades, fuelled by fashion, reality television and social media.
Appear to have talent or appear to be honest, until you manage to convince yourself the lie is real. For all that matters is the current fashion, the latest trend, and acceptance by the majority, so much has the balance shifted in favour of what other people think. How we appear has become more important than what we really are, and therefore what truly makes us happy.
Far too often we submit to this social tyranny of how we should appear, while the cat cares as little for this as it does for its first mouse.
Whether living ferally or in a more or less domesticated group, a cat never adopts the attitude or behaviour of one of its peers. A cat stays true to itself, with its desires, its character and its needs, without the slightest thought of needing to conform to a particular social construct, or present a particular image of itself in order to integrate with the majority — who are themselves often lacking in direction.
Your cat is uncompromising and above all loyal to itself, and you would do well to be inspired by that path. Be as uncompromising as your cat, even if only to reconnect with your desires, even if only to make yourself happier by listening to the still small voice constantly telling you:
Emancipate yourself from other people’s views of you. To your own self be true.