Cats and the Meaning of LifeSatisfaction:
The history of philosophy has been a succession of predictably tragic or comical palliatives for human disquiet. Thinkers from Spinoza to Berdyaev have pursued the perennial questions of how to be happy, how to be good, how to be loved, and how to live in a world of change and loss. But perhaps we can learn more from cats—the animal that has most captured our imagination—than from the great thinkers of the world.
In Feline Philosophy, the philosopher John Gray discovers in cats a way of living that is unburdened by anxiety and self-consciousness, and shows how they embody the answers to the big questions of love and attachment, mortality, morality, and the Self: Montaigne's house cat, whose unexamined life may have been the one worth living; Mèo, the Vietnam War survivor with an unshakable capacity for "fearless joy"; and Colette's Saha, the feline heroine of her subversive short story "The Cat," a parable about the pitfalls of human jealousy. Exploring the nature of cats, and what we can learn from it, Gray offers a profound, thought-provoking meditation on the follies of human exceptionalism and our fundamentally vulnerable and lonely condition. He charts a path toward a life without illusions and delusions, revealing how we can endure both crisis and transformation and adapt to a changed scene, as cats have always done.