The sunlight entering through our front window shimmered upon the glossy blackness of Bellagheera's fur, creating mesmerizing reflections in random patterns that fascinated my eye. Bella yawned, reached out toward me, lazily, with her paws outstretched and then turned over so the warm sun and I could both massage her belly. Combined with the bird outside the window which pulled her upside down eyes to and fro, it seemed to me that she had achieved some sort of feline trifecta of qualia.
Cats understand how to enjoy life far better than most humans. The truth popped into my mind as I sipped my drink. It was not the first time I’d thought that, of course, but nevertheless, we all learn truths, forget them, then learn them again. I’m delighted to relearn this truth over and over until perhaps I’ve finally learned my lesson. Cats certainly understand enjoyment. Could they teach us a bit about meaning as well?
What is the meaning of life? What should you do with your life? These are big questions that big humans with big brains ponder. Do cats ponder these questions? I sense the answer is no and that we humans, with our big brains, overcomplicate the issue.
Is there a big, overarching meaning to your life? As I sit and sip, staring out the window, with my cat contentedly purring beneath my hand, I lose myself into the pattern of sunlight on the leaves of the nandina. Perhaps asking the meaning of life is too big a question? What is the meaning of this exact moment?
Bella and I are enjoying the moment. She is warming herself and purring, I am enjoying a refreshing drink and the view. I sense an easy companionship between us. We are content, friendly, aware that this experience is enhanced as we share it together. This perfect moment means nothing more than that, and that is enough. Perfection, though transient, is beautiful. And what is life but a series of transient moments, one blending and bleeding into the next?
What is the meaning of life? I can't, at the moment, fathom defining a singular meaning that would apply to such an infinity of tiny, discrete moments. Perhaps a better question is: what are the meaning of life now?