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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