Everything I Know I Learned From My Cat

Duck; shot on the deck railing

Duck; shot on the deck railing

I’m a cat person. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike dogs; it’s just that I feel more of an affinity with felines. Here’s what I’ve learned by observing their behavior over time:

* Cats have an innate dignity, a firm sense of self that they don’t compromise. They’re born with it; we humans have to acquire this trait, usually through trial. They’re also tolerant (to a point. I, too, would resist being forced to wear something that made me look ridiculous).

* Cats are particular about those they allow to get close, a valuable lesson as some individuals we encounter can only be termed toxic. We’ll tolerate a lot of abuse before we’re willing to cut someone out of our life, especially if it’s family.

* Cats couldn’t care less what you think of them. Humans care too much, sometimes to the point of pretzeling ourselves to please others. Why are we so afraid to allow others to see our true self? Part of the answer lies in the basic need to belong, to be accepted, regardless of age.

* A cat’s love is unconditional. It’s not based on whether our clothes are fashionable, whether we’re rich or poor, fat or thin, young or old. If a cat is treated with love it will respond in kind–on its own terms, of course. They’re not petty, and they don’t meow behind your back. They’re pretty good at keeping secrets, too.

* Cats come and go; they stay in our lives and move on when the need strikes. Everything has a season, a truism difficult to accept. Humans crave permanence, regardless of how illogical that is.

* Cats live in the moment. Always. There’s no concept of stressing over things past or future in the feline world.

There’s more, but I’m sure you get the idea. If you’re searching for insight or a change in your perspective, look no farther than your feline companion. There answers are all right there.

And you thought cats were just house pets!


  1. As a female who favors felines, I am right there with you! Outstanding insights, well said, and to your point – lessons we need not look beyond our cats to receive!

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