Life Lesson from my Cat #13 ~ We're all Different

we're all different but we are all connected - variety is essential

Our cats are like chalk and cheese - one is fluffy, stocky and sleeps 23 hours a day, and the other is slinky, curious and always on the go. Each has her weaknesses and her strengths, and each has qualities that are endearing or annoying. If they were both the same it would be too much - their differences create balance.

Life Lesson from my Cat #12 ~ Don't let others Ignore you

Know who your friends are ~ don't let others ignore you

I loved the picture above of the kitten making sure she was getting attention. None of us like to feel ignored. So often we feel a part of things when we make the effort and keep in contact with everyone and what their doing, but what happens when we don't? What happens when we are too tired, or too stressed, or too sick, or too "whatever" to chase after people?

Life Lesson from my Cat #11 ~ Dress for Comfort

don't forget to chill out now and then and have a pj day

This is a picture of my daughter's cat, Shadow, wearing her Winter pajamas. She is a Devon Rex chosen because she has very little hair (it's more like fluffy fur) and because of that she is good for people who are allergic to cats (my son-in-law). The only problem is when Winter comes she feels the cold - so the solution is to put her in something to make her warmer - and here she is in her PJ's feeling relaxed and snuggly.

Life Lesson from my Cat #10 ~ Love and Let Go

Parenting involves both loving and ultimately letting go

My good friend Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty asked me to write a post on parenting for her Blogging Series - Midlife Matters. I thought this would tie in well with my Life Lessons from my Cat Series because cats are very good examples of how to parent effectively. They are far removed from the "helicopter" parents of today and are much closer to my style of parenting. 

Life Lesson from my Cat #9 ~ Live in the Moment

you don't need to control everything all the time - try living in the moment

Cats (and all animals really) have the innate ability of being totally present in the moment. They don't dwell on what happened yesterday, or what is going to happen next week - I don't think they even know what the concept of "next week" is! They just enjoy life as it comes along and react to it accordingly.

Life Lesson from my Cat #8 ~ be Self-Contained

don't depend on others for your self-worth ~ be independent and self contained

Whenever cats are mentioned in conversation, there is always reference to their independent natures. They are their own "people" and they are sufficient unto themselves. In all her books Brene Brown is very definite in asserting "I am enough" - and my cats would certainly agree with her!

Life Lesson from my Cat #7 ~ Enjoy Simple Pleasures

we need to re-learn the joy and beauty of simple pleasures

When our children were little, one of their favourite books was called "My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes" by Eve Sutton. Basically each page was about exciting cats from different countries and what they liked to do (the cat from Spain flew an aeroplane) but her cat liked to hide in boxes. That book pretty much sums up your average cat and their love of simple pleasures - boxes being top of their list - if there's a box it will be sat in (or slept in).

Life Lesson from my Cat #6 ~ Be Loyal

above all else be loyal - it defines who you are

Loyalty is usually associated with dogs (and apparently horses too - when you google it!) but I think cats are just as capable of feeling loyalty to their owners. Our Burmese cat is so friendly she sits at the end of our driveway and waits for people to walk past and pat her. She's even been known to follow them down the footpath when they decide to leave.

Life Lesson from my Cat #5 ~ Be Vocal when you Need to be

speak up and be vocal when you need to be

When our cats get vocal we refer to it as "singing the song of their people". One does it to get your attention if she's feeling ignored, and the other does it at meal times to let you know it's 5pm and time her dinner was served. They don't usually walk around meowing all day long, instead both save their chorus for moments they consider important.

Life Lesson from my Cat #4 ~ Be Affectionate but not Needy

learn to respect boundaries - be affectionate but not needy

Even cats need to learn lessons in life - we have two cats and neither of them has gotten this one quite right just yet. We have one who comes for short visits involving being patted briefly and on her terms - then a quick exit back into her own space, and the other who gets patted but the more pats she gets the more pats she wants - it's more, and more, and more until we are so over it all, we send her on her way posthaste. 

Life Lesson from my Cat #3 ~ Avoid Upsets and Drama

do what you can to lead a life free from upsets and drama

There are people in this world who thrive on drama - we all know a few and we do our best to avoid them wherever possible. I've written a post a while back on people I refer to as Light Suckers - they just suck the joy and light from every encounter - their lives lurch from one crisis to the next and they almost seem to prefer it that way.

Life Lesson from my Cat #2 ~ Be Curious and Adventurous

don't get stuck in a rut - be curious and adventurous

There is a well known expression - "curiosity killed the cat" - never the dog or the rabbit or any other animal - always the cat. This is because cats can't help themselves when it comes to sticking their noses into places that are new or interesting. They are the great supervisors of this world - nothing can happen without them having an active interest in it.

Life Lesson from my Cat #1 ~ Nap Often

Let's Begin By Taking A Smallish Nap or Two ~ Winnie the Pooh.

Our fast paced, always busy lifestyle steals little pleasures away from us ~ one of these delights is the afternoon nap. I think the value of napping has become very under-rated. We are too busy rushing around and feeling guilty if we stop, and this takes away the pleasure of an afternoon nap. I'd like to see us rekindle the art of napping and appreciating it for all it offers.