In the past on Mother’s Day I’ve written about my own Mom, Mom archtypes, and even featured feline Mothers.
This this year I’d like to share many of the ways my three fur kids have impacted my life – resulting in actual change on my part, or just providing me with food for thought and something to aspire to. I’d love to hear about what you’ve learned from your fur kids, so be sure to share in the comments section!
1. Think about what you consume. It’s because of my cats that I’m a Pescatarian (no it’s not a religion. It means I eat fish – preferably line caught and not farmed) but not meat. I can specifically attribute this to Petie and his similarity to a rabbit (which are often consumed in the finest of restaurants). It was this likeness that made me question the animals we keep as pets and those we eat, and the treatment of those we eat (which is beyond cruel for the most part). To read more about how this change took place in my life check out my post, “Feline Mignon.”
2. The importance of resilience and trust. It’s nearly impossible to escape the stories and videos of neglected cats (and dogs) who were dumped because they were too old, specially abled – or sometimes for no reason at all. And yet incredulously these beautiful creatures continue to trust humans and are often able to make the transition from the depths of grief to the heights of joy.
3. Life’s too short to settle. Don’t like the cat bed? Don’t use it. Don’t like the food? Don’t eat it. Eventually you will get what you want. Most of the time.
4. Love comes in many forms. We need to learn to accept the love we have in our lives in its varied forms even if it’s not in the way we’d like to or expect to receive it. Once again, it’s Petie, my most formidable (in size) yet timid feline who has taught me this lesson, along with the importance of being patient (something I struggle with continually). You can read more about my experience with him in my post titled, “A Fur Son’s Gift.”
5. Enjoy the little things. Anyone who’s watched their cat play endlessly with the ring from a milk jug or sit happily in a plain cardboard box knows what I’m talking about. This is a lesson that makes sense to me intellectually but is the hardest for me to hold onto. I’ve tried having a gratitude journal in the past (do any of you keep one?), but it always seems to fall to the wayside. But it is so true that it’s the little moments that make up the majority of our lives, and we need to learn to notice and make the most of them.
6. Appreciating all creatures. As I mentioned, it’s because of my cats that I no longer eat meat (yes, ironic in a way given they are obligate carnivores). But having never had pets growing up, my cats along with those I fostered taught me how different they each are. How they each have a unique little soul, distinct personalities with habits, quirks, likes and dislikes their very own. This inspired me to write a post titled “Cats, The Gateway Animal.”
7. Don’t be clingy. Cats don’t like it. Neither do most humans.
8. Where there’s a will there’s a way. When I come home to see Kip atop my tallest bookcase with nothing around it that I am able to identify as a launching pad, or see that Petie has managed to open the refrigerator (where I keep the dry food and why I now have toddler locks all over my kitchen!), I’m reminded of power of determination.
9. Be direct in asking for what you want. This can be demonstrated in cats particularly when it comes to being fed, being let into a room with a closed door, or in some cases being picked up. It’s ironic that the word “pussyfooting” has “pussy” in it given it’s not what felines are known for.
10. Do first – ask for forgiveness later. Or if you’re a cat, don’t bother with the forgiveness part. This is something that, as a pleaser, I’m not very good at. But has a cat ever asked if they can sit on your laptop or make biscuits on your bare skin at 3am? Nope! Just do what they please and hope to charm you into forgiving or forgetting.
What have your cats taught you? Be sure to share with us in the comments section!
Happy Mother’s Day to all Fur Moms!