TITLE/AUTHOR: If Cats Disappeared From the World; Genki Kawamura
PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2019
GENRE: Fiction / Animals / Magical Realism
FORMAT: print LENGTH: 168 pp.
SOURCE: my shelves
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Given the opportunity, what might you have disappear from the earth to live one more day?
"I'd always thought that when my time came, I'd go quietly, peacefully, and with dignity--that's how I always imagined it would happen. But when death stares you in the face, you find yourself willing to accept a helping hand from anyone, even the devil, in order to stay alive. It's basic human instinct. Dignity and respectability fly out the window at that point."
"Mobile phones have been around for only about twenty years, but in just that short amount of time they've managed to take complete control over us. In the span of two decades something we don't really need has come to dominate our lives and make us believe we can't live without it. When human beings invented the mobile phone, they also invented the anxiety that comes with not having one on you."
"They say that only humans can contemplate death. Cats don't fear it the same way we do. It doesn't cause them the same level of anxiety that it does humans. And then despite our angst over mortality, we end up keeping cats as pets, even though we know they will die long before we do, causing the owner immense grief."
"As you go on with your life, always remember the things that are good in you. They are your gifts. As long as you have these things, you'll find happiness, and you'll make people around you happy......"
"In exchange for another day of life, I erased from the face of the earth cell phones, movies, and clocks, but I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of cats...."
"A lot of people buy into that slogan Live life like there's no tomorrow. But I tend to disagree. Once you become aware of your impending death, you have to make a compromise in accepting the loss of the life you wish you could have led and the reality of your imminent death. Sure, there will always be regrets and broken dreams, but you have to go easy on yourself. Over the last few days, I've come to realize there's a certain beauty in those regrets. They're proof of having lived."
"I was never able to be myself completely or live my life exactly how I wanted to. I'm not even sure if I ever figured out what exactly being myself and living out my dreams really meant. So I guess I'm going to die with all those failures and regrets: all those unfulfilled dreams, all the people I've never met, all the things I never tasted and all the places I've never been. I'm taking all that with me to the grave, and I'm okay with that. In the end, I'm satisfied with who I am and the life I've lived. I'm just happy to have been here at all."