describes his neighbor, a “dapper little old man” who goes out onto his balcony every day and drops torn paper into the street to lure stray cats. Whenever a cat approaches the old man spits at it, and when he hits one he looks supremely satisfied. When the dogs and cats are killed during the plague (as carriers of plague-bearing fleas), the old man seems heartbroken, and he never appears on his balcony again after that. This man and his strange habit symbolizes the absurdist universe that Camus proposes in his novel. There is no inherent meaning in the man’s actions, but he creates his own meaning from them, which gives him happiness. The extreme absurdity of spitting on cats only emphasizes how absurd all human action is in the face of a vast and uncaring universe. We are all doomed to suffer and die, so anything we might do in the face of that is just as silly as spitting on cats – yet we must keep doing it, as it is only through creating our own meaning that we can give our lives value.