Sometimes, the greatest lessons we learn in life don’t come from our parents or teachers. They don’t come from books, or therapy sessions, or even places of worship. Sometimes, we learn some of the most significant lessons of all when we least expect it and from a quarter wholly unexpected as well. At least, that’s the way I feel about whatever I’ve learned from my cats.
My two cats, who I adopted in October 2016 are two of the sweetest sisters who show me nothing but unconditional love. Having them be part of my life makes me feel truly blessed as I reflect on some of the lessons they taught me in just one short year.
- Live in the moment – This is a big one, and I had been trying to master this essential life lesson for many years. It’s not good enough to tell yourself to live for right now; you need someone (or something) to show you. I often get stuck in the past, or I fret over the future. I over-analyze and deconstruct my life. However, when I’m home, I have little time to fall into a sullen, morose state because both of my girls are right there to cheer me up. They remind me of what’s important, which is themselves of course, and the three of us engage- in playtime, snuggles, grooming, and overall good times.
- It’s the little things that matter – My cats, like all other cats, love to bask in the sunbeams cast on the floor or cool off their warm bodies on the tile. They remind me how important it is too slow down and enjoy the simple things in our lives, like stopping to smell the roses; or in the case of my cats, the cat grass.
- The anticipation of something is more exciting than actually having it – One of my cats, Lia, is a small girl who is a finicky eater. Her sister, Juno, is not. When it’s time to eat, Lia gets very excited in anticipation as I pop the can of wet food or scoop out her kibble. She paws and rubs all over me all the while vocalizing in chirps and chatters. However, when I finally present her with the prize, she takes two bites and a distracted by what her sister has in her bowl. Hint Lia, it’s the same stuff. The same is true for my expectations in life. Sometimes, the fantasy or anticipation of something far outweighs the reality of having it.
Of course, there are many more life lessons you can learn from your cat, like not letting society’s boundaries control you (think big cat, little box). Or that friendship knows no race, color, creed (my cats love my dog and vice versa). But one of the most important lessons is that once you have the love of a cat, you need nothing else.