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Top Five Things My Cats Taught Me About Life

Five Life Lessons from Our Feline Friends

Lily, Maine Coon/Ragdoll, Photo by Holly Abidi

I’m officially the crazy cat lady. Although I do have other pets, my cats are my heart. I have adored cats all my life. Actually, when I was born and brought home from the hospital, I was set down on the couch next to a big tom cat named, Thomas, of course. Maybe that’s when it all started, who knows. All I know is that cats have taught me a lot about life. How you ask?

Number 1: No Shame

Well, they first and foremost taught me that feeling ashamed is a human emotion. My cats, and kittens especially that I’ve raised, were silly goofs. For instance, I’ve seen this lots, almost every cat does it, they just simply misjudge their step and plop! They never seem to regret just living, just doing their thing. And they most certainly do not feel ashamed or judged. I know this because they’ll just jump right back up after an epic fail. No biggy. Isn’t it wonderful? What if we didn’t have this big shame bubble, or guilt trip ourselves all the time—that’d be something, almost refreshing. Of course, I’m not saying we as humans don’t have value in feeling shame. However, the point cats taught me is to just be yourself. Just accept the fails in life, or as I like to now think, and I'm sure cats would say to, failing forward.

Number 2: Just do it.

Cats have taught me that they are extremely independent and they can be purticular. They want what they want. They also don’t worry about being told no. I have one cat that is right down obsessed with riding around on my shoulder. She has no hesitation in asking for a boost up to do what she loves, sit on my shoulder and claw me—or something like that. Even if I tell her no. I am very serious in my efforts. She totally sees, “sucker” written on my forehead. But I digress.

She just goes for things. Even in new situations I have experienced that cats do feel fear. But they at the same time cope with it by just doing things. Maybe they do need nine lives to compensate, but for the most part just doing things helps them become a better cat. Such as a more well-rounded and confident individual. It’s pretty amazing to see the transformation as they grow up. If given the chance, good guidance, and encouragement they blossom. The last point is also about us; having good guidance, encouragement, and just going for it, means we’ll triumph on many levels. That’s the take away.

Number 3: Love

My cats don’t speak the same language as I do. Although I do meow at them on occasion. This still doesn’t help. I’m ignored, naturally. The point is that they do perceive my emotions very well. We’re deeply connected, and it’s only something soulful. My cats love attention and I'm sure they love me. For instance, if I'm upset they worry, they come right over, and do catty things to cheer me up. Usually, trying to stare at my face if I were to shed tears. Perhaps, they don’t truly understand the why, but they do know if I am not feeling well.

In their way, they shower me with affection and follow me around. If I'm sick they are happy to spend the whole day sitting with me, rather than going off to play or do cat things. I’ve also found that once a cat trusts you they just do. They don’t expect anything bad from you. They don’t change their opinion about you, even when you at times have to give them medicine or brush them, which some hate to no end. Literally right after we’re back to being besties again. It’s an amazing type of bond, of love, that they are happy to share with us.

Number 4: Independence

We all know cats are independent. As soon as they can crawl they start to explore and find their place in life. Cats love to explore and learn. They have taught me that it’s healthy to explore and find yourself in life. Just try to be yourself, that often means you have to venture out and find trouble so to speak, and get through it too. Cats are notorious for getting themselves into trouble, but they are also crafty at finding a way out of their strife. That’s why we admire them, they’re regal, and soulful all in one furry package. We admire the cat’s nature, which is their own self-satisfaction they seem to possess. Ever heard that you are your own worst critic? Pondering the truth in this, perhaps it helps to find confidence in ourselves and throw caution to the wind and do something on your own. You know be cat-like.

Number 5: Affection & Understanding

I have owned many cats and I have always found that they are innately affectionate. Even tiny kittens once they understand affection will seek out this interaction. They learn everything around them and for the most part they're resourceful and clever. They can learn tricks, listen to commands, and once they bond with you can understand you much like a dog. Some cats will even participate in a walk or activities the same way you can with a dog.

It’s this affection and intelligence that makes them amazing companions. They love to play and just be with you. They love to receive affection, of course you do have to be trained in this manner. Not trained? Don’t worry, cats are awesome teachers (gentle warning: claws may be involved). They can be purticular. And it’s that side of them as well that commands their respect and understanding that I also adore. They know what they want, who they are, and how to live. And they also know how to be lovable and smart. Cats have qualities anyone can admire.

Until next time enjoy your wild side and a good purr!

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