Cats are so very much like art. They can be tranquil and calming like a beautiful landscape painting or wild like a huge colorful abstract.
Their beauty, languid elegance and hypnotic stare are mesmerizing and draw us in like a moth to a flame.
Are cats always understood? No, they aren’t and therein lies a great part of their beauty. The mystique surrounding cats throughout the centuries has alternately made them creatures to be revered and served as in ancient Egypt or to be reviled and feared as they were during the Middle Ages in western Europe. In either case, they held and still hold, a feline power over us.
Art is very similar. It has been used for many purposes throughout time, not only for beautifying our environments, but also for teaching religious ideology and illustrating social protest and commentary. Art, like cats, holds a type of power over us. Though we might not always understand what we are looking at or what it means, art engenders reactions within us. It is obviously subjective as everyone has their own personal tastes and preferences, but it MAKES US FEEL!
All of this leads me to the question of do you have to understand something to appreciate, like or love it? My response is a resounding NO! Cats will likely never ever be understood, but their mystery and often other-worldliness is in large part what captivates us (and renders us their adoring human servants, as in my case!). Art, too, is often not understood, but that does not mean we cannot appreciate or love it. You might look at a painting or sculpture and not know what it depicts specifically, but it doesn’t matter because it gets you thinking and feeling something. Art and cats MAKE US FEEL! That is the importance here.
I have often asked friends or relatives what they think of a piece of art, be it my own or others’. Frequently, their response has been, “I don’t know; I don’t understand art”. My answer to that is always that you do not have to understand anything other than what you like and don’t like and, possibly, what a piece of art inspires in you. Clearly, it can be very interesting to know a bit about an artist and his or her motivation behind the work, but, it is not necessary in order to appreciate it or to have an opinion about it.
If you feel something or are inspired, even just briefly, when looking at a piece of art, then you DO understand! Same with cats…….you don’t have to comprehend why you love them, just that you do!