Henri the Existentialist Cat
Every so often I return to revisit Henri, the French existentialist feline that ruminates on the life he must endure. Henri’s solemn introspection, the questioning of the daily “tedium” and the speculative thoughts on the foreign practices of his caretakers are all beautifully combined with a slow sombre background melody to give depth to such a simple video. Coupled with an (attempted) French accent, the video personifies & anthropomorphises Henri the cat to that of a deeply-brooding pipe smoking philosopher. There is however an element of humour in Henri’s pitiful groans and moans that deflates the video to a level more suited for entertainment. The simple life of a house cat is void of the responsibilities, daily stress, and the interconnected relationships one must constantly uphold, yet Henri still writhes with sorrow.
Perhaps there is a point to Henri’s numbness and dull grief. Happiness and fulfilment doesn’t arise from a simple removal of responsibilities, as demonstrated in Henri’s cyclical tedium, nor is it cramming of your timetable with busy-work, rather the fulfilment comes from the person constructing meaning from the elements in one’s life, such as hobbies, passions and people or even work.
I have waffled on for too long
Here are the two videos of Henri.
Finally Henri reminds me a lot of Bruno, my parent’s cat. Here is a photo of Bruno.