All my life I’ve been a cat person. I’ve had lots of cats, but never a dog (except as a child, but he wasn’t really “my” dog) until a few years ago. Until that point, I had no basis of comparison in terms of basic personality characteristics and behaviors between the two species But now that I’ve been able to observe the difference, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned from my cats.
Give love when you feel like it, not when it is expected or demanded of you.
Save the rest for yourself. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. After all, if you love yourself more, you will have more love to give to those around you. This is good advice for those who put everyone else first, and most days are left with nothing in the energy tank for themselves.
Have you ever watched a cat and noticed how well they nurture themselves? They curl up in warm, cozy places, luxuriate in the window when the sun is streaming in, and carefully bathe every square inch of their bodies. When was the last time you lit a candle, turned out the light, and soaked your weary body in a hot bubble bath? Or read the morning paper outside on your front porch and felt the morning sun warming your bones? Maybe it’s time to start!
Take naps, lots of naps, whenever you can.
Studies have shown that taking a nap increases productivity, reduces stress and improves overall well-being. Simply observing a cat can tell you that this is true. So go ahead, pull out your blanket and pillow and crawl under your desk for a power nap.
Don’t worry about what anyone thinks about you, march to the beat of your own drum.
This is what I call “living authentically.” Cats come to you only when they want something from you. Other than that, they saunter around the house as if they own the place and couldn’t care less what you or anyone else (especially the dog) thinks of them. We could all benefit from learning this lesson.
They gave the term “bitch” to the wrong species.
When Annabelle (the dog) accidentally bites me while we are roughhousing, she can tell from my sudden change in demeanor that she has hurt me, and she actually comes over with her little boo-boo face and gives me a kiss in apology. When Spike springboards off me while digging her claws firmly into my abdomen, she really could care less that she has hurt me.
Or When Max (the other dog) knocks something over with his exuberance, he gets that “uh oh” look on his face and then wags his entire body in apology. When Fluffy knocks something off the counter, she saunters casually away from the wreckage as if nothing had happen.
But be them cats or dogs, our furry children provide us with love, comfort, and an endless supply of entertainment. We love them like children and could not imagine our lives without them. To know the love of an animal is to be truly blessed.
What about you? Do you have cats? What lessons have they taught you? I want to know.
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