Anybody who knows me will admit that I’m a cat person. I just don’t like dogs jumping all over me, licking my face and slobbering all over my hands. I prefer to sit quietly with a cat who, rather than invade my space, simply shares it.
Missing my old cat (Chloe) recently, I found myself looking back fondly and reminiscing about old times, such as the night (at about 10 weeks old) when she crawled out an open window and onto the roof only to find herself at a loss as to how to get back down. So, there I was in my pajamas at 10:00 at night, climbing up a ladder to rescue her. And another time when after being declawed, she jumped up into a chair only to slide down the side because she had lost her grippers. She looked at her paw with a quizzical expression on her face and shook it hard as if saying, “Why aren’t you working?”
Chloe met me at the door every day when I came home from work and never missed an opportunity to jump up on my bed to wish me a good morning. Looking back on the good memories prompted me to make a list of all the things I learned from her that can apply to everyone in their everyday lives:
Stretching is good for you
Wash your hands constantly
Purr when you’re happy
Enjoy a good nap every day
You’re never too old to play
Take time to sit quietly by yourself
Greet your loved ones when they come home
Brush your hair every day
Long nails aren’t necessary
Take time to sit in the sunshine
It’s funny how we can learn things from people and animals who are supposed to be learning from us. I guess if we keep our eyes open for these types of opportunities, there’s no telling what kind of wisdom we might glean from those around us.
Garrison Keillor, host of the public radio show ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ once said… “Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.”
Maybe the best thing my cat taught me was to give myself permission to simply enjoy the present moment without feeling guilty. That, and there is not enough masking tape in the whole world to really ever get all the cat hair off your couch.