Quotes from I Am a Cat

Natsume Sōseki ·  480 pages

Rating: (5.8K votes)


“Living as I do with human beings, the more that I observe them, the more I am forced to conclude that they are selfish.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“He is totally abandoned in the way he buys book after book, never to read a single one. I wouldn't mind if he used his head and bought in moderation, but no. Whenever the mood takes him, he ambles off to the biggest bookshop in the city and brings back home as many books as chance to catch his fancy. Then, at the end of the month, he adopts an attitude of complete detachment.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“In the old days, a man was taught to forget himself. Today it is quite different: he is taught not to forget himself and he accordingly spends his days and nights in endless self-regard. Who can possibly know peace in such an eternally burning hell? The apparent realities of this awful world, even the beast lines of being, are all symptoms of that sickness for which the only cure lies in learning to forget the self.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Had I the time to keep a diary, I’d use that time to better effect; sleeping on the veranda.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Thus, as I review the list of my friends and acquaintances, most of them emerge as stained with maniac stigmata of one sort or another. I begin to feel considerably reassured. The truth may simply be that human society is no more than a massing of lunatics.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“If the Creator should take the line that I am born to work and not to sleep, I would agree that I am indeed born to work but I would also make the unanswerable point that I cannot work unless I also rest.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“You must not speak ill of other persons. After all, everyone dies when their allotted span is over.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Even the works of Shakespeare might be more thoroughly appreciated if they were re-examined from unorthodox positions. Someone, once in a while, should take a good long look at Hamlet through his legs.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Of all the tribulations in this world, boredom is the one most hard to bear.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“It would seem that for my master a book is not a thing to be read, but a device to bring on slumber: a typographical sleeping-pill, a paginated security blanket.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“The prime fact is that all humans are puffed up by their extreme self-satisfaction with their own brute power. Unless some creatures more powerful than humans arrive on earth to bully them, there’s just no knowing to what dire lengths their fool presumptuousness will eventually carry them.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“There is nothing quite so terrifying as the results of education.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“The trouble with women is that they talk too much. It would be good if human beings would keep as silent as this cat.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“El que cambia su opinión demuestra con ello que su mente no es de piedra.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Secretiveness is a most mysterious matter. However well one guards a secret, sooner or later it’s bound to come out.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“If whiskers establish sauciness, every cat is impudent.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Soy un gato, un ser extremadamente sensible a los más sutiles cambios en la mente o el alma del mundo. Y, naturalmente, necesito dormir más que el resto.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“The plain fact is that humans, one and all, are merely thieves at heart.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“There are times when even I, a mere cat, can put two thoughts together. "Teachers have it easy. If you are born a human, it's best to become a teacher. For if it's possible to sleep this much and still to be a teacher, why, even a cat could teach" However, according to the master, there's nothing harder than a teacher's life...”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Pero les juro que los humanos no se saldrán con la suya eternamente. Tenemos que ser pacientes. Llegará un día, y espero que no tarde mucho, en que los gatos dominaremos el mundo.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“- ¿De verdad conoció a Masaoka?
- Nunca nos conocimos personalmente, pero mantuvimos una estrecha y fructífera relación telepática.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“It is of course true that the human creature characteristically prides itself on its self-reliance. However, it would be more exact to say that the creature, knowing it can't rely upon itself, would very much like to believe that it could and is consequently never at ease with itself until it can give a practical demonstration to some other such creature of how much it can rely upon itself.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“To be as comfortably off as you are is, after all, the best way to be.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“The world's evaluations of an individual's social worth, like the slits in my eyeballs, change with time and circumstance. In point of fact my pupil-slits vary but modestly between broad and narrow, but mankind's judgements turn somersaults and cartwheels for no conceivable reason.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“He de confesarte que, desde mis días de estudiante, no he sentido ninguna simpatía por los hombres de negocios. No hacen nada si no hay dinero de por medio. A mi entender, son lo que se solía llamar antiguamente, en los buenos tiempos, la escoria de la sociedad.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Vaya, pues sí que viven bien los maestros. Si fuera humano me gustaría ser como él, maestro de escuela. Uno puede dormirse cuando quiere y, aun así, siguen considerándote un buen maestro. Así que no le veo yo problema a ser maestro y gato a la vez.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“But when luck is running against one, nothing goes well.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“And men who accept the burdens of regret, whether in respect of watercolors or of anything else, are not the stuff that men of the world are made of.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“Es una de esas fisonomías que se quedaron sin vender en el siglo XIX y que en el XX siguen sin encontrar postor.”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


“But facts, remembered or not, are all, alas, still facts”
― Natsume Sōseki, quote from I Am a Cat


About the author

Natsume Sōseki
Born place: in Tokyo, Japan
Born date February 9, 1867
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