Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Cosmic Task of Cats

Little Beaumont, working very, very hard!

"Why do cats sleep so much?

Perhaps they've been trusted with some major cosmic task, an essential law of physics -- such as: if there are less than five million cats sleeping at any one time the world will stop spinning. So that when you look at them and think,
what a lazy, good - for - nothing animal,

they are, in fact, working very, very hard."

~ from the novel Human Croquet (135)
by Kate Atkinson, b. 1951
English novelist

I am also reminded of Eleanor Farjeon's clever little poem, which has been illustrated as a children's book many times:

Cats Sleep Anywhere

Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.
Open drawer, empty shoe, anybody's lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don't care! Cats sleep anywhere.

Eleanor Farjeon, 1881 - 1965
English children's author

Farjeon also wrote the lyrics to "Morning Has Broken," way back before Cat Stevens made them famous (click here to hear).

For my favorite Farjeon passage,
check out: "The Precious Firstlings"

Basket Cats




  1. Gerry McCartney has a similar theory about humans: maybe whatever mysterious mission we have been put on this Earth to accomplish actually happens while we're asleep; and all of our daytime activities are strategies to tire us out so that we can fall asleep and get around to our real work. Whereas, with our limited understanding, we think it's the opposite -- that we are begrudgingly required to sleep merely to refuel so that we can jump up and get busy with our tasks of perceived importance.

  2. see also: