If you're a writer, an English major, or an avid reader, you've probably read Charles Bukowski's On Writing by now. It's a slim book filled with insights, advice, and the brutal truth about the art of writing, expressed in a way that only Bukowski can express the intimacies of his craft: deeply and emotionally. While the celebrated author and poet had a lot of valuable things to share on writing (not to mention some pretty great one liners), there's another surprising subject he had a lot to say about: cats.
That's right, in the latest published collection of the late author's work, On Cats, is dedicated to those furry felines who, according to scientists, would eat you if they could. And when you think about it, you realize cats are the perfect subject for the “laureate of American low life.” Cats appear throughout his fiction and poetry, and avid readers and fans of Bukowski know the author owned many of the course of his lifetime. On Cats is a celebration of the author's love for the creatures, but it's also an exploration of the mysterious creatures who, according to this proud cat lady, are the greatest pets around.
After a lifetime filled with love for felines, Bukowski sure did have a lot to say about cats, their lives, and their relationships with their owners. Here are five insights about cats from Charles Bukowski's collection, On Cats. Be warned: This may make you want to go out and adopt a kitten for Christmas.
1. Cats Are Great Teachers
While you picked up On Writing to learn something from the master of his craft, On Cats will show you that these pets have a lot to teach, too. They're wise, cunning creatures, and for Bukowski, they were also some of his greatest teachers. No, cats can't just show you how to bathe using your tongue or act indifferent toward, well, everyone, but cats understand that life is life, and all you can do is be. They're pretty deep animals, trust me.
2. "The More Cats You Have, The Longer You'll Live."
While Bukowski's claim that owning a thousand cats could lead to immortality seems a little far-fetched, there is some truth to the idea that being a pet owner helps you live longer. Having a cat, something to love and care for that, even if they don't always show it loves you back, gives you a reason to get up in the morning, other than work. Wait, does this mean I can get MORE KITTENS?!
3. A Cat Leads a Simple Life People Never Could (But Should Totally Try To Anyway)
Maybe they cry here and there, but cat's don't stress like people do. They sleep, the eat, they bathe, and they don't get hung up on the small stuff. They can nap for 20 hours straight without guilt or regret, unlike people, who can't go a minute without feeling stressed. As if you needed another reason to be jealous of cats, right? They just understand life's simplicity, and that's something we could all learn from.
4. Cats and People Share the Same Dreams
Like people, cats have two things on their mind: sex and food. According to Bukowski, cats' daydreams aren't too far off from our own. While we sit at work on the train dreaming of Chipotle and making out with that hot guy from the elevator, cats imagine mockingbirds between their teeth and entire groups of fellow felines in heat. Ugh, cats totally just get me.
5. If People Were More Like Cats, the World Would Be a Better Place
I'll leave you with this, or rather, Bukowski will: "if I were all the man / that he is cat — / if there were men like this / the world could / begin." Ain't it the truth.
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