At any given time, it seems like someone I know is having an existential crisis, lying awake at night and torturing themselves with unanswerable questions: What if I just deactivate my Facebook account? Where did the last five years go? Where did I leave my car keys? Why are artichokes so complex and difficult to eat for so little reward? What is the meaning of it all?
The good news is that cats have existential crises on a regular basis, and they’re really good at handling the ensuing psychological and emotional fallout. Let the five cats in these videos show you what they do to get happy again.
One thing that helps your cat deal with existential crises: She is pretty much oblivious to how much stuff sucks. Sure, maybe she gets stressed out when you feed her an hour late, and she is convinced that the day on which you vacuum is definitely the day she is going to die, but for the most part she’ll just keep napping luxuriously and batting around wads of paper while you struggle to pay the bills and wake up 10 minutes late for work AGAIN.
Many humans do yoga because it helps them relax and forces them to live in the moment — seriously, it is impossible to run through your to-do list while holding a forward fold or a backbend (try it sometime). Cats, it turns out, are also privy to this ancient secret, and much like that douche who always stands at the front of the class and can put his leg behind his head in a moment’s notice, cats are naturally flexible, so it looks like they’re not even trying.
Instead of letting their jealousy toward the neighbor’s cat’s entire box of feather toys or their older brother’s gnarly catnip stash fester and become a burning resentment, cats find ways to release their anger. Instead of attacking man or beast, this kitten dumps her pent-up aggression on a larger cat’s ceramic likeness — basically the feline equivalent of that time you punched a pillow and imagined it was your boss’ face.
While many humans are codependent and quickly wither when not in the presence of their beloved, cats are more independent and self-sufficient. This recent study provides evidence that cats do not experience the same level of attachment to their owners as dogs do, meaning that when you leave the house for eight hours to go to work, your cat probably doesn’t miss you as much as you think she does.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, nothing calms me down faster than digging all of the cookie dough chunks out of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked. These cats take a similar approach — and they’re very vocal about how much they enjoy it. Om nom nom!
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About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.