As you may know, I give a portion of the sale of each hand poured soy candle to animal charities. And my company is named after two of my cats. Animals are such a big part of my life. For most of my adult life I have had some wonderful cats, and boy have I learned, and continue to learn, some great life lessons from them.
Here are some of my favorites:
Don’t hold grudges. My cats can fight like the dickens, and then a little later on, be spooning each other or giving each other a bath. I still have a hard time with this one for myself, I tend to hold onto things and I’m not very quick to forgive and forget. I see my cats do it everyday though, and I’m trying to get better at moving on from things that have hurt me.
Just relax. Cats are the best nappers! They play hard, they eat until they are full, they snuggle with you and then they pass out. They can sleep when everything around them is chaotic (except my one little sweetie who is deathly afraid of the garbage truck).
Focus on the little things to be happy. I have so many cat toys with bells, crinkle paper, strings, and even some with batteries to make a fake mouse scatter across the floor, but the favorite toy in my house hands down is... a bottle cap. They go crazy for it every time! Oh, and when I’m getting crushed ice from the ice machine in the refrigerator and a couple pieces fall on the floor, you would think they have won the toy lottery! They are like professional soccer players batting those ice pieces around the floor. So hilarious to watch!
Just do it! Ok, they may have “borrowed” that tidbit from Nike, but they embrace it like it’s their own. My cats know they are not supposed to be on the counter or the table (they are allowed anywhere else in the house), but that doesn’t keep them from jumping up and then looking at me with the “what?” look on their faces. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know the right way to do something, and I wait for it to be the perfect time. My cats taught me that sometimes you just have to jump in and take a chance (and hope you don’t get in too much trouble!).
Go after what you want. This is similar to the previous lesson. I have one cat that goes nuts for drinking straws in wrappers. If I put one on the counter, she has it in her mouth and is running through the house with it (remember, she is NOT supposed to be on the counter) before I even realize what happened. She doesn’t think about whether the straw is hers, or if she “deserves” it; she wants it, she takes it! I sometimes spend a lot of time wondering if I “deserve” something instead of just going for it.
Get mad when your tail gets stepped on. Man, this one is a hard one for me. When I was growing up, I saw my mom say, “it’s ok, I don’t want to be a bother” whenever someone would not treat her right, whether it was someone she knew or a server in a restaurant. I don’t want to be that person, I want to stand up for myself. It has taken me a long time, but I am finally getting there. Thank you kitties!
Stretching is important. Well, duh! I really regret not remembering this one after a long walk or a work out. haha
Seek out places that give you comfort. My cats love sunshine, they will lie in the tiniest sliver of sunlight coming in the window and move to another spot as the sun moves during the day.
People who love you will forgive you. My cats can climb on the counter, fight with each other (which they know I don’t like), claw at the furniture, and unintentionally scratch me, but all they have to do is snuggle up and purr and all is forgiven. They are easy to forgive me too if I lose my patience telling them to get down from the counter (I sense a pattern here about the counter).
You have to ask for what you want – people can’t read your mind. My cats will come right up in my face and head butt me if they want to be petted, jump right on my lap and start kneading to get comfortable – there is no guessing when they want attention (or treats!). This is another lesson I am still trying to master. I want people to know what I need them to say, or how I need them to act, but that just isn’t logical… but, oh how I wish it was!
You have to try, and don’t be embarrassed if you fail. My cats will run as fast as they can and slide on the floor, not quite getting enough traction. Or they will try and jump up to the top of a dresser and just miss it. But they keep on trying until they master it, they don’t care if anyone is watching, they brush themselves off and get up and try again. I love that about them!
There are so many of these lessons that I am still working on. I am so glad to have cats in my life to keep trying to teach me. They never lose their patience and love me for who I am, no matter what I look like, no matter how many times I try and fail at something. They are such wonderful, loving souls. And THAT is why I give a portion of my profits to help animals; they have helped me in ways I will never be able to repay.
Do you have animals? What have they taught you? Would love to hear from you!