I have trouble comprehending a lot of things in this world. But what puzzles me most–what’s more difficult for me to understand than rocket science, or calculus, or someone with a really thick Cockney accent and a mouth full of peanut butter-and-honey sandwich—is human behavior.
I’ve been doing some character sketches on my work-in-progress lately, and I made this disturbing realization the other day: I understand my fictional characters’ motivations better than I understand the motivations of actual human beings…including my own. Even when I think I know why I do the things I do, social science says I’m lying to myself, chock full of confirmation bias, selective memory, and a tendency to see patterns where none exist.
Utterly failing to understand my fellow humans, I have turned my focus elsewhere. Namely, to cats.
And I’ve discovered that cat behavior is remarkably consistent. It’s guided by a strict code of conduct, an elegant, overarching philosophical paradigm. The term cats use to encompass their metaphysics is difficult to translate from the feline yowl, but I like to think of it as Catvice, words of wisdom and feline advice we can all use to guide our daily lives. I’ve decided, over the course of the next several weeks, to share these precepts with you. Because humans need all the help we can get.
Without further ado, I present Words of Catvice:
Do not ponder whether the glass is half-empty or half-full. Instead, empty the glass.