"At this point, there is one thing I need to come clean about. The rumor is true. We don’t make a big deal of it but we do, actually, have seven lives. If you’ve met one of those stupendously stupid cats that break their neck falling from the eighth story while chasing pigeons, then you know what we’ re like in the run of our first, maximum second, life. Between you and me, I personally spent my first life chasing the shadow of a caged bird, every single afternoon. I shredded my nails against the wall on a daily basis, the imbecile. It embarrasses me to even think about it. Thankfully, we come out wiser in each life and by the seventh, we really do honor our place in the food chain. We become instructors. Of course, someone not open to new learning can expect nothing from us. As is well known, you can only learn what deep down, you already know – the rest, you just skirt around.
As you must realize, in the course of my six previous lives, I had been through as many cushy times as bitter ordeals. In the most disadvantaged suburb of New Orleans I learned that love is more nourishing even than fresh fish, in the earthquakes of Volos I learned to say goodbye to everything I called my own, in the yard of a Juvenile Correctional Facility, I saw how much injustice is to be found inside justice. Pain – my own and that of others – made my fur malt twice. I lost one eye and all of my self-respect over half a rotten seabream. I sacrificed half an ear for the sake of learning the meaning of “the fact that we got licked aside, this was a fight we owed ourselves”. Obviously, I passed all tests with flying colors, because my sixth life deposited me at London’s National Library, if you don’t mind. You can’t possibly imagine the things I picked up by lounging for seventeen whole years on the reading tables there, in the comfy warmth of the green lamps. Yes, I turned into a bookworm, my claws grew blunt and my teeth could no longer have sliced through live flesh but, in return, I gained the universe.”
- From Lena Divani’s forthcoming book Seven Lives and One Great Love: Memoirs of a Cat.