T Nation

Emotional Attachment to a Cat

Hi,

I’m going to make this as short as possible. A year ago our neighbours cat kept coming into our garden and as time went on this cat showed more affection to me and my family. I petted it and enjoyed his company for the short while he is in our vicinity. The cat keeps coming almost everyday up until now.

Recently, I’ve started to develop an emotional attachment to this cat. I cannot get this cat out of my mind even when I force myself to. There has been moments where the image of this cat meowing would occur in my mind at work/home and I would almost start crying due to his innocence. Thoughts keep coming such as what if this cat leaves the neighbourhood, what if the cat dies, and so on and so forth.It has been a hell of a ride these couple of days. I know this cat is not mine, one day this cat will leave the world and I know life will go on and will have to get on with my life without his company.

Has anyone experienced emotional attachments of this nature ?

How do I break free from these attachments in future ?

I would appreciate if you could share your thoughts and provide solace.

Have you considered nihilism?

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Kill it

You can kill it and experience all of that pain in an instant rather than dread the future.

(and also for years deal with guilt and regret for the horrendous thing you’ve done)

Why do you want to?

Don’t be a pussy

Nah, you don’t know that - you might die first
(hurry and kill it while you still have the chance)
(or just enjoy your time with her while you can … you weren’t really thinking about a cat were you?)

Cats are like raindrops. There are a lot of them. Sometimes they hit you in the head. That’s both cats and raindrops. I dont like getting hit in the head, so there is some ambivalence there. Fortunately there are better things to throw, like ashtrays or other dishes, so I’m kinda mixed on that too,because most cats are pretty soft. Except statues. Statues of cats seems like a perfect balance but they hurt too.

I can see why you’re having a hard time with this now. I know one thing for sure though- I’m staying the hell out of Egypt.

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I may be a nihilist. I do think my life has meaning, but that meaning is my own subjective meaning. I don’t know if that counts?

Nah, that’s a bit closer to Nietzsche’s idea of “we make our own meaning”, which was an opposition to nihilism.

I think about my dogs a bunch, and the likely hood that I will out live them. It makes me sad.

I think your solution to this is just realizing that some things are outside of your control. You can’t make the cat live forever. You can enjoy this cat when you get the chance though.

Isn’t Nietzsche kinda considered the father of nihilism?

I haven’t studied this in depth, and may be wrong on definitions (I think several forms of nihilism exist). I would say Nietzsche admitting meaning was subjective is somewhat of a admission that it is meaningless.

Only by folks that didn’t read him, haha. He was very much opposed to nihilism. Much of his writing was regarding how nihilism was going to be the inevitable conclusion of the 18th and 19th century in the absence of God and how it would be necessary to come up with a solution.

Nihilism was “life denying philosophy”, and very much opposed many of the things Nietzsche prized.

I should read some of his work.

It does look that he had some nihilist ideas (morality is subjective). I would say after just a bit of google that I would classify him as a humanist. I guess the classification does not matter much.

For sure. The fundamental difference was on the existence and value of meaning. Nietzsche argued a meaning was necessary but that we could make our own. The absence of any meaning would just result in depravity, but through a revaluation of values and a newly created meaning the overman could arrive.

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I suppose this classification would depend on which person’s perspective you are using.

For some, if they thought the “meaning” of their life was subjective and up to them, that would mean that no real meaning existed, and therefore life would be pointless.

Right. That is nihilism. Nietzsche was saying that, in recognition of that, one must make their own meaning to escape nihilism.

Absurdism would be another example of recognizing nihilism and overcoming it.

I guess I am not a nihilist then.

Nothing wrong with that, haha. It would be a difficult and tedious philosophy to maintain.

Believing your life has meaning but is subjective seems to be tedious to maintain as well. It can change all the time.

That’s just being adaptable. Machiavelli and Darwin would be quite proud, haha.

Also, much of this comes down to the definition of meaning. Some reject that meaning can be subjective, but are not nihilists (a theist would be an example).

Nietzsche was writing in the era where “god is dead”. Hence this passage

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

The “must we ourselves not become gods” thing is part of the whole “make our own meaning” aspect of it.

But yeah, theists tend to not be nihilist. Difficult to juggle.

At lot of men are obsessed with pussy, you’re just into a different type.