Cats and their owners are on a private, exclusive loop of affection. Thus cats have become symbolic of a community eschewed and a hyper-engagement with oneself. They represent the profound danger of growing so independent in New York that it's not merely that you don't need anyone - it's that you don't know how to need anyone.
In 1998, I set up and directed a research group at the Nanotechnology Institute newly created in the Research Center of Karlsruhe. This allowed to offer to former post-doctoral coworkers the opportunity to develop and to progressively set up independent research activities in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Cats are the runes of beauty, invincibility, wonder, pride, freedom, coldness, self-sufficiency, and dainty individuality - the qualities of sensitive, enlightened, mentally developed, pagan, cynical, poetic, philosophic, dispassionate, reserved, independent, Nietzschean, unbroken, civilised, master-class men.
In the 19th century, when Muslims were looking at Europe as an example, they were independent; they were more self-confident. In the early 20th century, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the whole Middle East was colonized. And when you have colonization, what do you have? You have anti-colonization.