Your Cat Is Humble and Indulgent

How to Think Like a Cat - Stephane Garnier 2018

Your Cat Is Humble and Indulgent

’A cat is not bound to live by the laws of a lion’s nature’


We all have a tendency to sometimes set the bar a little high, to be hard on ourselves and even beat ourselves up about things.

Be ambitious, sure; give the best of yourself, of course; but it’s equally important to know how to be kind to yourself in the event of a setback.

It’s important to be honest and to give your utmost to any job or project, but nobody can expect you to excel at everything, all of the time, to the point of making yourself ill.

What does this all have to do with what you can learn from your cat? It’s all summed up in the quote from Spinoza on the previous page. Your cat may be a feline, like the lion, but your cat doesn’t exhaust itself all day long trying to be as strong and as fast as a lion. Your cat is not and never will be the king of the jungle. Perhaps it isn’t even the boss among the other cats in the neighbourhood. But so what? Does that prevent your cat from living its life to the full and being happy? Does it spend its time wanting to attain a position or acquire a status it knows it will never reach? Does it hold itself to blame for things it cannot control?

Neither a little humility nor a little acceptance of yourself will prevent you from being proud of what you are and what you do. Should you stop singing just because you’re not Freddie Mercury? Should you stop painting just because you’re not Paul Cézanne? Does a lack of those talents make you a less valuable human being? Or just different?

Do the best with what you are and continue to progress, for even if your cat knows it will never be a lion, that won’t prevent it leaping, running, hunting and being the king of your sofa even if it can’t be the king of the jungle.

Be humble in what you do. Be kind to yourself. But whatever you do — Do!