the leopard

Just the contrary to human beings

“The truth is that he wanted to draw a little comfort from gazing at the stars. There were still one or two up there, at the zenith. As always, seeing them revived him; they were distant, they were omnipotent, and at the same time they were docile to his calculations; just the contrary to human beings, always too near, so weak and yet so quarrelsome.”

—Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard

Or so we are told

“The dog was hoping to induct the man into a taste for superfluous activity, to inculcate in him some part of his own energy; the man could have wished that the animal, by virtue of being loved, might appreciate if not abstract speculation, at least the pleasure of tasteful, gentlemanly idleness; neither of them, of course, achieved anything, but they were content nonetheless because happiness consists in seeking for an end in view rather than in attaining it; or so we are told.”

—Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard