Cats and The Meaning of Life

Jennifer Szalai at the New York Times:

On the face of it, “Feline Philosophy” would seem like a departure for Gray — a playful exploration of what cats might have to teach humans in our never-ending quest to understand ourselves. But the book, in true Gray fashion, suggests that this very quest may itself be doomed. “Consciousness,” he writes, “has been overrated.” We get worried, anxious and miserable. Our vaunted capacity for abstract thought often gets us (or others) into trouble. We may be the only species to pursue scientific inquiry, but we’re also the only species that has consciously perpetrated genocides. Cats, unlike humans, don’t trick themselves into believing they are saviors, wreaking havoc in the process. “When cats are not hunting or mating, eating or playing, they sleep,” Gray writes. “There is no inner anguish that forces them into constant activity.”

more here.