Project „Book of G.“ – Page 6


There are the cat-types and the dog-types of people. I cannot decide which group I am more into. Dogs dominated my last decade, putting cats to proud second place, but before that I recall only having wild cats around… In my first diary, I wrote that I played with a cat that was visiting my grandmother’s garden occasionally. This notebook still exists. I must have been 6 years old then. My mother had motivated me to write one sentence a day during the long vacation, so that I would not forget reading and writing. I tried the same with my children after they finished their first grade, but have not been as persistent. This is the end of the story. When I am writing about cats, I chose to include this cats related memory from my childhood between the lines, I hope you liked it. Now, in order to bring this introduction to a conclusion, I want to emphasize that I have had a long time of observing these graceful animals and admired their traits, so that I have decided to include them as a symbol here in my book of gratitude.

This is not a text about cats. If it were, I should be starting with the ancient times, where cats have been worshiped and also emphasize them being cursed for bringing bad luck. I am writing about my own thoughts about cats and why they remind me to be grateful about my life. Surely I will not tell everything within a paragraph and be done with it. Where is the fun, if I don’t let my mind expand over my feelings and use this page to mention some cats related facts that have brought me to pay this special attention to them.

Let us get a bit serious… My background is scientific: I have degrees in engineering (yes, plural!). So I have studied all that mathematics and physics stuff and I must admit I enjoyed it a lot at that time… Later, because I changed to economics, I had to miss all the higher level physics… (Sorry Albert, I wished I had the background to enhance your relativity theory!) As life developed, I got somehow back to quantum physics topics from the perspective of philosophy and learned and loved another dead scientist: Erwin Schrödinger… and also his black cat. You have probably heard about his theoretic experiment and its dimensions where you ask yourself what is real, what do I believe, how does scientific measurement support me and is there something beyond it… til the brain begins to buzz! What a delight! We only use so little of our brain capacity, so why not push it to the extremes? Because this is so much fun, I have the following thoughts about this hilarious black cat for you:

If you’re looking for a black cat in a completely dark room, it’s called philosophy.
If you’re looking for a black cat that isn’t in a completely dark room, it’s called metaphysics.
If you’re looking for a black cat that isn’t in a completely dark room and you’re shouting „found it,“ it’s religion.
If you’re looking for a black cat in a completely dark room and you use a flashlight for it, it’s called science.
How intelligent cats are is not a topic I care about. I will have to leave the zoologists to debate on that. In general cats are independent, they have a lazy life and care for having fun. Normally the life of a cat is pretty secure, so that they can allow themselves the slow pace, even the most  sluggish movements. They seem to have all the time in the world! For sleeping, thinking and evaluating… If I had to assign the professions to an animal, cats would definitely be the philosophers! The quote above surely has sageness within.
From all the catty characteristics I admire, it is their fascination about everything they encounter the first time. Remember the saying: curiosity killed the cat… what a great way to die! The motivation for learning about their surroundings is in their flesh and blood. This never ending urge to discover and understand is an inborn trait. Once all is checked and all possible changes have been registered, they can resume their rest and revise all the new experiences… the perfect life of a scholar. Cats, I am definitely jealous of you!…

Who says I don’t act like a cat, when it comes to my life? This role model with so much time to learn, explore and to digest is my life purpose… In short: I am an eternal student: I want to explore and experience life… So I organise my responsibilities, necessities and resources with this one target in my mind. Being cat-like, having enough time for the exploration part is essential for me. From the outside it seems to be doing nothing, but just reading or thinking. On the contrary, akin to a powerful storm it is high duty working… evaluating new learning, connecting it to prior knowledge, application in further related topics where hypotheses are proved by experimental conceptualization, yielding to better understanding of life and the universe… all that matters.

For some, I might sound strange, but I will never get bored with this mode of operation, being the cat, exploring and experiencing. Life is so fascinating and there is so much to learn… Even if I had grounded knowledge and sufficient experience about a topic, there is always more behind it. Therefore I discarded the word „master“ in my dictionary. The ones who can think alike (and cats of course) will know that learning is so much fun and it is addictive! Eventually there is nothing else to do other than understanding… and for that is learning the natural prerequisite.

Coming back to the concept of gratitude… I am extremely happy to have access to so much information around me so that I can indulge myself in learning. Throughout my life I had the possibility of studying several different topics – not only related to my profession, but also all need-to-know in order to be a good mother… The funniest to name may be my origami skills. I hope to spend my coming decades further being like a cat, always curious, investigating and learning as well as reflecting, like I am doing here… Funny, I have chosen to thank cats to symbolize reading and learning, where I often said that I would love to be a mouse and spend my time in libraries and book shelves. Probably this thought resulted from my energy containing rats… they are being chased by cats all the time!

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I hope you liked the analogy of cats for curiosity… When you want to discover other topics where I wrote about gratitude, I would be glad if you followed the link here for another text from my collection „book of gratitude“… for example the one where I am thanking walnuts: Thank you, walnuts!