Learning from cats

Cats can teach the individual about being in the moment.

helix_cat_at_peace

Helix is a cat at peace with self and the world living in the present moment.

Where I am living there are two cats, both adopted from adverse backgrounds, a half feral cat called Pebbles and a free-spirited cat called Helix.  Living under a shared roof the excellent strategy is befriending the animals under that roof, which makes for a happy home.  My strategy was successful, and the cat owner might be a little envious as both cats have bonded closely to me.

Befriending animals takes time, you cannot rush the process, moving at the pace of the animal, and learning through observation what they like and dislike, for instance Pebbles dislikes having their paws touched.

Before meeting these cats I was ignorant about cat psychology, internet research and the slow process of relating with the cats over time enlightened me about the minds of cats.  Pebbles and Helix are educational teachers, for instance how they stretch their bodies after a period of inactivity such as sleeping, something I started doing each time I move from sitting or inactivity.

When I stroke Helix I am envious at how much delight and enjoyment the cat expresses, abandoning itself to pleasure in the present moment.  Cats live in the moment, their minds bounce from one event to another like butterflies, but with the fixed focus of a light beam on the target of their attention.  If I have to evict Helix from the laptop bag they love to sleep on, this cat won’t hold grudges, they accept the changed situation, moving on without the baggage that humanity has with disappointments.

The cat can remind the individual that their only reality is the moment, enjoying  full attention, flowing and adapting to the changes of each moment.

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12 responses to “Learning from cats

  1. Having been a cat ‘lover’ for many years, notice how I do not say Cat ‘owner’ for I feel a Cat stays only because it wants to stay… if not it will find a more welcoming home… :-) Yes Cats have unique little personalities all of their own, each teaching us various things… Cats have often found me, rather than I find them, although we did have a rescue cat…
    The longest living of these was the cat we had when my Children were small, she lived to be 21 yrs of age… And was my daughters best friend and confidant who listened to her secrets, her heartaches and her joys as they grew up together.. She brought both healing and peace, joy and laughter into our family.. The wrench of our beloved Cat’s passing was greatly felt within the whole family.. And they can teach us many things… Thank you Alex for sharing and for taking the time to get to know Cats.. :-)
    Sue

    • Hi Sue, yes, I agree, perhaps caretaker is a better name rather than owner, all cats are free agents, and some might say the cat runs the show rather than their “caretaker.”

      My experience in close proximity to cats is new so it is an interesting learning opportunity.

  2. [ Smiles ] I am impressed, Alex.

    I didn’t know that you were a cat person.

    By the way, it is nice to have you back. I missed you and your great articles!

    • I would not say I am a cat person, I would never own a cat, but the cats I am currently sharing a home with are an interesting new experience.

      It is still a busy period with customers demanding my attention, but I hope to get more regular articles out.

      Thanks for the welcome back. It is so hard getting going blogging again.

  3. Likewise Alex, I didn’t know you were a ‘cat’s person’. The cat definitely makes the decisions when and where it wants to. My Cloro is very much like that, independent; call him and he simply takes a message and decides when he’ll call you back.

    AV

    • Getting to know cats is a new experience for me, they seem to like me, one is happily sitting next to me as I type this. I agree, cats are free independent agents working to their own agenda rather than that of humans.

  4. I love to watch cats, can’t be around them long as I am very much allergic to them. But cats, while domesticated are much the same as the birds and other animals we see outdoors. Intent on what they are doing at the moment and moving from one activity to another at a whim it would seem. I learned to stretch upon waking after watching our pets do this, from the hamster to the dog they all stretched when they woke.

    Good to have you back I was just thinking of you.

    • Thanks Lois, good to be back.

      It is amazing what humanity is missing through failing to observe the animals they share their home with. Stretching after a period of inactivity as a cat does has great health benefits.

  5. I wanted to ask.. does a person actually own a cat?? or does the cat own you?? unlike dogs they seem to either want to stay or want to leave…

    • That is a good question many ask, I think the cat is the master, clever little creatures. One positive thing about domestic cats in the UK compared to their larger counterparts in South Africa is that they won’t eat you if they are hungry.

  6. I love & learn from ‘my’ cat the same way, I love the way he just relaxes so totally, and I often wish I could do the same! He has been great for me, in helping me to de-stress when I get tense. he seems to be most affectionate when i am sad/down/poorly, as if he senses the energy & wants to cheer me up… & interestingly, though he most often sits with me, he goes to other members of the family when they are sad/poorly.
    I am glad you have found such a lovely cat-kinship :-) x

    • In my experience, at least with the cat here called Helix, is that it appears to sense if I am stressed or unhappy and comes in to offer a comforting source of affection. I am glad to hear your cat is a great source of empathy and strength in your home.

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