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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

musings on a cat's contentment

. . . I do not envy the placidity of men and women of manifestly contracted understandings. I might as well envy (as I have heard some foolish people say they did) the still more placid lives of our domestic animals. I delight to contemplate — I have no wish to imitate — the life of any sort of tabby. My cat enjoys her existence in common with me up to a certain point. When in the winter evening I draw the easy-chair to- wards the fire, she couches before me on the rug. We both enjoy the light, the warmth, the softness, the repose, and for a moment I distinctly congratulate myself on this perfect cat-like felicity. But this pleasant state of things must be, with me, the condition only for some higher enjoyment. I must converse with a friend, I must read books, I must think my thoughts, I must lose myself in their labyrinth. Puss, on the rug, stops where I begin — feels all the peace, the comfort, and the warmth, and stops there perfectly content. I see her close her eyes and open them again, quite satisfied that everything about her is as stationary as herself. . Well, I will not envy puss. I will take, by sympathy, her little contented life into my own, and so enrich my being with one more kindly sentiment.

-- Smith, W. Gravenhurst, or, thoughts on good and evil. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons.pp. 177-8  William Smith (1808-72) was an English philosopher and writer, of whom it is recorded that after his law training he "served out his articles as a solicitor with excessive distaste."

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