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What Cats Know That You Don’t

Crazy kitten upstairs
Creative Commons License photo credit: eva101

“In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”  ~ Terry Pratchett

Cats are peculiar. They can be aloof, hiding underneath the bed or ignoring you as you try to get their attention. They walk around the house as if they own it, going about their business as they please. Sometimes, we are not sure what to think of this behavior.

But, there are a few things we can learn from the feline lifestyle. I share my house with two cats, and after observing them daily for nearly three years, I can tell you that there are some things that cats excel at that we humans are maybe not always so good at.

1. How To Take A Nap – Of all the cat activities in a day, this is probably the most glorious one. When a cat naps, it does so with all of it’s being. Sinking into slumber midday, possibly curled up in a little ball or stretched out on the floor, or, my favorite, twisted up with legs facing up and chin on the floor (don’t ask me how they actually get into the position, but somehow it looks comfortable), this is true unconscious joy right here. If you need to relax, watch a cat sleeping.

2. How To Schedule Their Daily Activities – A cat knows work/life balance well. Sometimes, it’s time to run, chase, stalk and hunt. Other times, it’s time to nap, lay around or just sit and stare out the window. Each activity gets their full attention. As we would say, they are very present in the moment.

3. How To Be Still – There are times when my cats will walk to a spot on the floor, crouch or sit down, and do nothing. No running, no climbing, not even really any looking. Just being still where they are. I think the lesson here is – if there is nothing to do, then just do nothing.

4. How To Be Playful – It’s not really in their reputation, but cats are silly. One of my cats climbs up the cat tower to the top and then turns upside down, hanging his head through the entrance hole to the top lounge area, with his legs grasping the sides. Cats have a way of being  light and free and playful.

5. How To March To Their Own Drummer – Cats do not do things because you want them to. They do them because they want to. Whether that’s running up and down the stairs, sitting in the window sil, hiding in a secret spot or sitting in your lap, they do what’s best for them at that moment. Not to say they never think of anyone else, because cats are quite affectionate, but they know what they need to do. And they do it.

Anyone share their home with cats?  Lessons learned?  Please share in the comments.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • April Brown March 1, 2010, 12:23 pm

    yes! This is so true. I never quite thought about my 3 cats this way, but you have described them to a tee 🙂
    Thanks for making me smile!

  • jonathanfigaro March 1, 2010, 4:20 pm

    I think cats are the cutest. But im a dog man my self. Siberian Husky owner and proud of it. Well it’s my girls and i kidnapped him for the weekend….lol. She still hasn’t found out yet. I’m not promoting thievery but i couldn’t resist. But yeah, cat are amazing creatures. There ability to balance out life is wonderful. And the ways you pointed out how we human can learn from creature we at times believe to be inferior is amazing, great post!

  • Amanda Linehan March 1, 2010, 7:29 pm

    Hi April – You’re welcome!

    Hi Jonathan – Thanks! I hope you are planning on giving your girlfriend back her dog. 😉

  • Patty - Why Not Start Now? March 3, 2010, 4:13 am

    You know I love this, Amanda. Cats are very wise creatures, as you’ve so beautifully illustrated in your post. I especially like the one about marching to their own drummer. Each one of my cats is totally unique, an individual in his or her own right. They sure aren’t comparing themselves to each other and trying to be different!

  • Amanda Linehan March 4, 2010, 10:01 pm

    Hi Patty – Yeah, they sure are unique. I love seeing how complex their personalities really are. 🙂

  • Sara March 11, 2010, 3:03 pm

    Amanda,

    You captured the personality of cats very well. I have had cats almost my entire life (along with dogs) and they are such wonderful teachers of enjoying every moment.

    My cat, Aggie, loves to sleep on her back with her feet in the air, like a dog waiting for a belly rub…except that for Ms. Aggie., belly rubs might be tempting, but ARE NOT acceptable. Now neck scratches and ear rubs are perfectly acceptable:~)

    Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it!

  • Chania Girl March 14, 2010, 5:42 am

    I love cats so, of course, I loved this post. My husband has even gone so far as to say he thinks I was a cat in a former life (hmmmm … maybe?). We have neighborhood cats that all like to come round our back garden at various times in the day, almost like they’re doing shift work. 🙂 My favorite is a tigress-looking kitty who suns herself on the back wall. As your post said, simply watching a cat in stillness can relax you.

  • Amanda Linehan March 15, 2010, 6:01 pm

    Hi Sara – I can see your cat now. 🙂 They can be funny like that. Certainly there are ways that they prefer to be touched and ways that they do not!

    Hi Chania Girl – I think a past life as a cat would be great! Maybe a future life too. 😉

  • Ty Unglebower June 18, 2014, 2:29 pm

    I would add that on some days they seek out those who are most allergic to them. It rarely fails that when I visit a home with a cat, they come right up to me for some reason. =)

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