Dear Henri,
Thank you for your thoughts on existence. I thoroughly enjoyed Henri le chat noir, as I once too shared your morose take on life. But Sartre’s Being & Nothingness can lead one to a dead end in the search for the meaning of life, so I’ve decided to search elsewhere. Life may be pointless but it is not totally bereft of pleasure, and it is too short to wallow in existential mewsings. I hope that my few words of advice can help you transcend your ennui. 

From nothingness to nothingness

Seeing that our very brief state of being is sandwiched between two stages of nothingness, one must ensure that this moment of existence is filled with some pleasurable activity and, very importantly, much comfortable non-activity.

Hence, Rule No. 1: Sleep 20 hours a day. This gives you less time to think and plenty more to dream, and to be content. Your white colleague is not an imbecile for sleeping so long and so soundly. She has understood the futility of running around all day, as most humans do. She sleeps because she can, having learnt to ignore the stress of a seemingly futile existence. Nor is she simple minded because of an apparent lack of interest in Philosophy. Look at you – delving in existentialism has filled you with despair at the thought that all is néant. Relish instead in your existence, savour the moment. Like Laozi practice not doing and everything will fall into place.

You are content therefore you are

Henri, you will continue to see the world as meaningless and arbitrary if you persist in your search for metaphysical truth. Your reason for being is to be content. And when content, you will purr. Did you know about the therapeutic effects of purring? Don’t underestimate the power of feline vibrations, which have been linked to ‘lowering stress, decreasing symptoms of Dyspnoea, lessening the chances of having a heart attack, and even strengthening bones’ – in humans that is. Check out  ‘The healing powers of cat purrs ‘. Not that we know anything about Dyspnoea, or care too much for bone density, but it is imperative to keep our owners healthy. Hence, Rule No. 2: Purr, purr, purr …

Adjust your purring

Poor Henri, fancy having to wait so long for your breakfast. Instead of indulging in your existential mewsings, you should train your owner to better look after you. Most humans are quite smart, and will respond to basic cues, but you must get them in the right frame of mind.

Thus we come to Rule No. 3: Raise the frequency range of your purr. If you don’t know about hertz levels, it is time to down Sartre and get on to some scientific literature. You need to learn the various purring techniques that will get your owners’ attention. Did you know that you can trick them by mimicking a baby’s cry ? I pitch my purring at 300-600 hertz at 5AM and, unlike you, I never have to sulk in front of an empty bowl.

Exciting existential moments

My waking moments are few, but packed with activity. There is so much to do, even in Moorooka. I glare at Larry’s Tom across the road. He fancies me, but a loud hiss puts him back in his place. I howl at the huge tabby on the fence. She looks vicious, I must remain vigilant to defend my patch. For a bit of entertainment, I do my ablutions as close as possible to the fence, which drives the yappies next door into a frenzy. These little white terriers seem to thrive on a constant state of hyper activity, sniffing at everything as though searching for their lost purpose in life.

In the afternoon I sit on the driveway to watch humans rush back from where ever they have been. Some stop to talk. I roll on my back, wriggle my spine on the warm concrete. They scratch my ears and my tummy, which gets rid of my itches. And I purr away their woes, fending off heart attacks and strengthening bones. The meaning of life, dear Henri, is but a shared therapeutic moment’s pleasure. Get a grip and stop sulking. Wish you well.

Love always,

CousCous, La Chatte noire xxxooo 

Bonne nuit

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