シンプルに生きたい? Wanna Live Simply Like Me?


There's a rectangular device that M uses frequently. It's called a smartphone. I counted once, and she picked it up almost ten times in one hour.

Pretty much everyday she faces this smartphone thing to me and hits a button. She says, "This way, Leo!" and I always hear a sound going "kssh".

Not really knowing what's going on, I stare at her. Then M shows me the smartphone. Voila, there's an image of me from a few seconds ago looking in this direction. As I try to walk away from her, she says, "Look at you handsome you!"

These things are called "photographs", according to M. People who come and visit my apartment often do the same.

At other times, she'll stare at the smartphone for a very long time. At times like that, she doesn't notice that I'm there. Even when I'm waiting for her with a toy in front of me, she won't look at me.

I often wonder. What's so important about taking a photograph of me?

She also does the same thing to her food before she eats it. Always trying to find the perfect angle or lighting, she'll even move the plates around, or add a flower in it, or even try to get me in the picture. I do as she says, but she doesn't let me eat the food. As M is doing her thing, the food usually just gets colder by the minute.

Then there are times that M faces the smartphone to herself. Usually it's when I'm overjoyed to be in her arms after a long day. All I want to do is to enjoy the cuddling, and rub my face against hers. But again, she tries to get the purrfect photograph.

It seems like just cuddling together is not enough for M. I'm usually exhausted by the time she gets the purrfect shot. I've been wondering why she is so obsessive about her "photographs". Apparently, there are people other than me who are looking at them. And M is often filled with joy, when she gets feedback on the photos.

M is happy when:

1:People like the photograph

2:They say that I'm cute (I can't blame them for that)

Through this, M's "existence" is recognized by the world.

The value of existence. Or acknowledgement. Humans live to get this, and it's what keeps them alive.

It's also what keeps them busy - creating an image of their life to present to the world.

M's life that I see is not at all like the life she captures in her photographs. She does not eat beautiful looking food everyday. I've never seen her take a photograph of herself without that stuff she puts on her face before she goes somewhere.

Yet, she continues to present an image of herself to someone, through photographs. Just the way she wants people to see her. But somehow she seems a little tired.

Would she be less tired, if she didn't have to worry about how she's seen by others?

Cats are pretty simple.

I don't really care if someone likes me or not. My life is all about whom I like. If M dislikes me, of course I'd be sad, but I don't really try too hard to have her like me. I think I'm pretty cool. I just know that.

People often tell me, "Leo, I want to live simply like a cat". But it's not that hard.

You just have to feel okay, about being who you are.

You don't have to take that photograph for approval. You don't have to force a smile to present an image of yourself that's not you.

Let me tell you what I think as a cat. I'm not really interested in what you had for breakfast. Though, I might be interested in what kind of cat you have.

In any case, just be the real you. You're already pretty cool.