If anyone tries to tell you that cats don’t have a personality. They are lying.
People have tried to tell me that cats do not have expressions, don’t have much of a personality and are not overly affectionate. This is usually part of an attempt to turn me into a dog person. Now, while I don’t discriminate, I feel like I need to point out a critical flaw in this type of argument. Not only do cats absolutely have a personality (its called cattitude for a reason), but there are also a few fundamental life lessons we can learn from them.
#1 Enjoy the little things and the little things will become some of life’s greatest pleasures.
Think about it, millions of felines who enjoy the comfort of a warm sunbeam, ball of yarn or fresh laundry can’t be wrong. My childhood cat was a master of this philosophy and applied it to everything. One of his favorite things in life was the laser pointer and he would chase that little red dot all over the house until he was panting and physically couldn’t run anymore….and then once he caught his breath a moment or two later he was back at it, ready for round 2, 3, 4…or as many rounds as we could handle before putting the laser pointer down (often he refused to take the hint when this happened and would come swat at the pointer or sit in front of you and stare at it until you gave in).
His second favorite thing was our lazy boy chair. He would constantly take a running leap, throw all of his body weight against it and ride the back of it down again and again. Now, true masters of this fundamental rule know that it can be applied to all aspects of life…even the not so fun things like house hold chores. When I would make the bed I would deliberately flick the sheet up high, letting it drop down like a parachute for us to dive underneath as it floated down on top of us … Mind you, this may not have been the most efficient means of making one’s bed, but it sure was a blast!
#2 There are rules, and then there are laws. Know the difference.
Laws are non-negotiable, everything else is more of a grey area. For instance, just because you aren’t supposed to climb the Christmas tree, doesn’t mean you can’t…and it definitely doesn’t mean you wont enjoy yourself when you do. There was more than once when we would be looking for Kayla just to find him buried in the tree at eye level and looking quite pleased with himself (we may have had to give in and tie the tree up to stop it from tipping over, because this was one “rule” he clearly was never going to abide by).
#3 Just because you may not be the smartest person in the room doesn’t mean you don’t belong.
During study sessions my cat would refuse to take second fiddle to anyone. He may not have known what was going on as we studied for sociology exams, but that certainly didn’t stop him from inserting himself in the center of our study group, fully alert on his chair and happy to be apart of the conversation. In life, someone will always be better or smarter than you in one area or another…don’t let yourself get discouraged. Learn from them and don’t be afraid to contribute to the conversation, no matter what you may think, you do bring something to the table.
#4 Don’t take crap from anyone.
During one of the previously mentioned study sessions, my cat exercised rule #2 while I was out of the room and when my friend told on him, he got scolded a little bit. Did he slink away and let this betrayal stand? Of course not. He waited for his moment and then struck.
While Sarah was sorting the cue-cards into separate piles he dove into the middle of them and very purposefully waved his paws around to mess them up. She looked down and asked “was that really necessary?”…. at which point he stood his ground, laying in the middle of the papers and gave her one of the most defiant looks that I had ever seen, a look that clearly said “You bet it was toots!” The bottom line of this lesson? Stand you ground and when you know you’re right, don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself.