I have been a cat lover for as long as I can remember though never got around to actually owning one.
When Wriggley or W, the stray cat strolled into my life, he was all of 4 months. His round green eyes with two black teardrops around his inner eyelids had me fall head over heels – it was love at first sight. However, unlike the playful kittens around, he had an air about him that spelt wisdom. He seemed older and mature at that time and still is. In fact, living with him has been a revelation.
He controls me and many a times leaves me with a feeling, that his credit rating got me the loan for my apartment!
Well there are a zillion things, this bundle of fur has taught me. Some have been entrenched in my mind and others lay deep and warm the cockles of my heart.
Here are 7 lessons you, too can learn from W.
- Be independent Cats are creatures of solitude. They can stay alone without feeling alone. Cat haters imply that cats are cold creatures. To me, they are comfortable with themselves. They rejoice in the aloneness and dare take any orders from anyone. They are an embodiment of confidence.
W taught me to revel in my aloneness. At the time I brought him home, I had recently lost some very dear people in my life and my world seemed alone and dark. I was afraid to be alone. He taught me that there is strength in being alone if you allow yourself to see the freedom it provided. To use being alone as a sign of empowerment and revel in it.
- Go with the flow Cats are in no rush to get things done. W is famous for simply being in the moment and ‘hanging out’ no matter what is going on around. A cat has the ability to eat, sleep and keep grooming no matter what’s going around.
This is the second lesson he taught me. Stop worrying about the past or the future. Be in the now, for that is where joy resides and the present is all there is.
- Don’t aim to please Try getting a cat to do as you command and tell me if you succeed. W taught me to be empowered. He is unfazed by those who expect him to be like the ‘other cats’ and live up to any social expectation.
He taught me to say ‘no’ when I really didn’t want to do the things forced down on me. Very often, you may tend to go with things because you do not want to look bad or tilt the apple cart. In saying ‘yes’ to others you deny joy to yourself. I learnt from W to stop being a people pleaser. That it is okay to pursue my happiness in a self-love way – an important lesson.
- Set your sights high Cats have the ability to reach places that are impossibly high for them and then you wonder ‘how on earth did they get there?’ I watch W when he wants to perch himself on the top of the refrigerator. He takes a good look at where he wants to go, first. Then he evaluates the distance and the area he plans to land on. He focuses all his attention and finally, jumps, and lands in the exact place. He makes it seem so effortless that I wonder if he could have gone higher.
This is my next lesson – aim high and you’ll surprise yourself by reaching farther than you think you can. In case, you miss, you’ll still land, on your feet.
- Don’t accept ‘no’ Trying telling ‘no’ to a cat! When W wants to gift me a special prize of a dead cockroach, he is undeterred. Each time, I scream and throw away the prize in disgust, he scurries and brings it right back! Similar to your goals in life.
An invaluable lesson. No matter how many times people dissuade you, go forth and do what you desire. The rest is all ambient noise. Focus, perseverance and not accepting ‘no’ is an invaluable lesson from W that I try not to forget.
- Be curious W is always seeking. I open my wardrobe and he’s right beside me to explore its depth. The front door opens and he squeezes himself through it to maybe, find a magical unicorn! His body language has fear writ over it but that doesn’t stop him.
Go ahead, explore. There’s the possibility of learning something new or gaining something you never thought possible!
- It’s ok to fail I’ve watched W failing at grabbing that fly or chasing a ball, skidding and getting back up to try it again with his feistiness and elan. Cats never give up easily. They fall several times and get back up. And, there’s proof in the millions of videos on the internet on their failure.
Another lesson I cherish is this ability of cats to embrace failure.
Owning a cat has been the most rewarding experience of my life. W has changed my world. He influences my sage wisdom and teaches me new things about life.
In fact, one of the conditions when I was dating my partner, Pari, he had to accept and learn to adore Wriggley. When I met Pari, a dog lover he didn’t think much of cats, at all but cats have the magical power of ingratiating themselves in your life and W did just that with him. They both are thick as thieves, today and I often, feel left out of the boys’ club!
From a relationship perspective, Wriggley shared some invaluable lessons.
- Keep dreaming Cats are always finding a perch to sit and look out of the window into the beyond. Forever, creating stories and dreaming. Take time out to sit back and just dream.
- Seek warmth Whether it’s your laptop, the crook of your leg or the sunny window. A cat will seek its way to find warmth. Stop judging yourself and reach out for people who embrace you in their warmth.
- Family that eats together, stays together W loves his own food. However, when we sit to eat, he’ll make an appearance no matter where he is. Listening to our conversation or sitting beside us – to be a part of what we call- a loving family. Spend time together – not with any electronic gadget but with the ones who love you and you love, too. These are the precious gifts of life.
- Grooming is important In relationships, you may at times feel the need to be grunge and pay little attention to yourself. Learn from a cat, cats have no one to please but themselves. And, you’ll find them cleaning and grooming themselves for hours. Remember the time, when you took special effort to look great on your first date? Keep that magic going. It’s worth it. You are worth it.
- Give space You don’t have to cuddle every time to display your love. It’s okay to do your own thing. You can be in the same house and be in different rooms or be in the same room and do different things.
- Keep it simple W is happy given a cardboard box to scratch or a feather to play with. Find joys in the simple things in life. It could be rustling up a meal together or playing scrabble. Love doesn’t need fancy holidays or designer bags.
Cats teach us more about self-love. They are content in who they are and display their love unconditionally to those who love them back. They might not necessarily, jump at you with joy but that slow walk and rubbing your calves leave you in no doubt about their adoration.
You may hate a cat or think why in the blazes do they, even exist! However, you cannot deny the joy you receive when you see a video with a kitten chasing a ball of thread or trying to catch its own tail.
Hey, cats are ruling the internet.
So, pause and make notes, these felines are the high priests/priestesses who can give a masterclass on life and business to the world.