Cats are the ultimate hedonists; I admire and respect them. Their unabashed self-centeredness is only slightly less awe-inspiring than their ability to persuade humans to cater to it.

But their real superiority to human beings is most evident in their contempt for the inessentials that interfere with true hedonism. For example, a cat wants unlimited amounts of delicious food at all hours, but doesn't waste a moment on insisting on the best table at the trendiest new restaurant in order to impress others. Likewise, he or she wants a nice silky cushion to nap on, but doesn't care how much it cost or whether it has a designer label. Moreover, a cat wants a fairly roomy indoor environment for those occasional impulses to run around, bounce off walls, and wantonly destroy things - but he or she doesn't need an infinite number of rooms with ostentatious decor in a prestigious neighborhood.

They don't need money, fame, vast possessions or any of those other factors that interfere with total enjoyment of the present moment. They do like power, but as long as everyone within immediate range is happily enslaved they feel no need to take over the world.

Human beings can definitely take lessons from cats in the art of happiness.