If you happen to have a cat in your life, you already realize that they live life on their own terms. Unlike humans, they are perfectly happy to live their life one day at a time and to do so in the same way that cats have lived for thousands of years.
As humans, however, we often struggle and fall short of the mark when it comes to living our life with happiness. That is where John Gray comes in. He wrote the book Feline Philosophy, Cats, and the Meaning of Life.
In that book, he talks about how felines live their lives on their own terms, not trying to reinvent their lives in order to be better.
Einzelgänger recently took a close look at that book and the philosopher behind it. They wanted to learn more about why cats are happy and content and humans struggle just to get from one day to the next.
What Allows Cats to Be Happy?
In part, he explains, it has to do with the independence of felines. Some domesticated animals, such as dogs, stick by our side and rely on us for everything they need. Cats, however, tend to live life on their own terms and if we don’t give them what they need, they try to find a way to get it.
There’s a lot of discussion about the ethics of humans and how it differs from the way cats live their lives. The bottom line, however, really ties things together nicely.
Cats will do what is suitable for cats. Just as cats have done for thousands of years, they live life on their terms, and they don’t have a problem being a feline.
Perhaps that is where humans can learn something from our beloved cats. Rather than trying to reinvent ourselves constantly and be something we aren’t, we could just be who we are and be happy with it.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.