Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Cats Can Teach You About Living a Better Life

A while ago I wrote about what I learned about life and work from my dog. Since then, I've been trying to figure out what my two cats, Spike and Ace, have to teach me.

So far, I'm stumped.

But the more I think about it, maybe that is what they have to teach me. They don't really care if I don't get them. They don't care what I think. They plan their days around naps, eating, the litter box and maybe a little playtime with one another.

They have little regard for someone else's angst, unlike my dog who seems to sense bad moods and do her best to set things right with tongue lickings and a wagging tail. Like most cats, their persona is one of ultimate cool. Two sleek black cats that are mirror images of one another. They've got the cool part down pat.

If I'm having a bad day, it's not their concern. Their priority is a morning bath in the sunshine, maybe a little Purina and then a nap. And, if they should they need a scratch behind the ears or a tummy rub, they complain in incessant meows beside my desk until I comply.

Then, once again, they go on their own way, seemingly satisfied that they've take care of their needs.

So, I guess I have learned a thing or two from Spike and Ace:

1. No need to rush. Food, water, a patch of sun and a clean litter box, and life is good. Why fret about deadlines or toss and turn at night when right here, right now, things are just fine? Hurrying to and fro is not only a waste of energy, it makes you look uncool.
2.Walk away from the noise and chaos. When the dog is barking, the kids are yelling, the phones are ringing and someone is at the door, the cats head for the quietest spot they can find, usually to resume their naps. No way are they sticking around where they can get their tails stepped on or get caught up in the frenzy. They don't let themselves get drug into issues that don't concern them, or ones that would add any kind of stress to their day. They don't make a lot of excuses -- they just make it clear that they've made a choice and they're cool with it.
3. Know you're awesome. The sight of two solid black, green-eyed cats striding down the hallway is enough to make you look twice. They are a throwback to their jungle counterparts, and project it in every step. They know who they are, what they want out of life, and make no excuses. Take them or leave them. They're cool with it.

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4 comments:

Andres V Acosta said...

Back when my wife and I just started dating, my future mother-in-law asked me if I liked cats. I told her I was more of a dog person ... wrong answer! See, she had this theory that men who preferred cats could better handle an independent-minded woman. Seven years into our marriage and I can now honestly say I have a much greater appreciation of cats. :-)

Anita said...

That's hilarious! When I asked my future husband if he liked cats, he said, "Sure...fried or boiled," making what he thought was a cute joke. Well, now 22 years into the marriage, and with TWO cats who lie on his chest every night, he's learned to love -- er, tolerate -- them.

Matthew Murphy said...

I must say up front I'm not a cat person. But I learned two important things from Luna, a cat that slept in my then-fiance's roommate's sock drawer. 1) It's good to be a source of amusement for your people (as long as it's on your terms). 2) Always look like you meant all along to do whatever silly thing it is that got you into this mess in the first place.

Anita said...

Matthew,
It's all in the attitude, isn't it? I've seen my cats fall off the windowsill after they've fallen asleep, and they act as if that was the plan all along. I'm going to remember that next time I goof up!
Thanks for posting.