Dear Dr. Donna - Lifestyle of a Cat

Dr. Donna L. Roberts

Sane Advice for an Insane World

Dear Dr. Donna,

What is the meaning of life?


- Existential Crisis

Dr. Donna Says . . .

Dear Crisis,

Ahhhhhh . . . the age-old, oft-repeated question about the meaning of life.

Profound? Yes. Original? Not so much.

The essence of your question has reverberated through time in various forms: What's it all about? Who are we? Why are we here? What is our purpose?

It’s been debated by the world’s greatest philosophers, preachers, prophets and cynics. And there are lots of “isms” that attempt to explain the mystery - subjectivism and objectivism; nihilism and hedonism; spiritualism and naturalism; positivism and supernaturalism; mohism and humanism.

But honestly, I think that everything I really need to know about life I learned from my cat . . .

  • Take a nap. Stretch. Rinse. Repeat. Preferably in a sunbeam.
  • Absolutely everything, when viewed in the right light, is a toy.
  • Purr, coo and mew whenever possible, but be able and willing to hiss and scratch when necessary.
  • Seek out the high ground.
  • Keep yourself well-groomed.
  • Realize we all chase our tails from time to time.
  • Don’t be too predictable.
  • Dig your claws into whatever you do.
  • If you make a mistake, just act as if you intended it.
  • Cuteness is half-way to earning forgiveness.
  • If you feel the urge to run around in circles for no reason at all, follow your heart. Even if it is 3 am.
  • Never forget that once you were considered a god.
  • Live as though you have 9 lives – but make each one count.

Someone Once Said . . .

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer. - Joseph Campbell

Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose. - Garrison Keillor

I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats. - Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.

- Shakespeare

Recommended Reading

For more info on these topics take a look at these titles:

Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It: Wisdom of the Great Philosophers on How to Live by Daniel Klein

Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

A Cat's Tale, One Cat's Search for The Meaning of Life by Lindy Lindemann (Author), Jody Wheeler (Illustrator)

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Writer and university professor researching media psych, generational studies, addiction psychology, human and animal rights, and the intersection of art and psychology.

Canandaigua, NY

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