I was making life much too complicated
Most important things in life I have learned from my cats. Until I started paying attention to them, I was making a mess of my life. I tried to be what I thought I was supposed to be, but many times that didn’t work out so well.
It’s not that I didn’t learn from people, I did, and some of those things were well worth my time to understand and implement. But many of them were not. I like simplicity. I don’t like complexity. I’ve found that with some study, most parts of life that truly matter are simple.
I’ve also found that if something is too complicated, it’s to my highest good to leave that alone whatever it might be.
I can’t say for sure what my cats are thinking at any one time, but they don’t seem to overthink anything. I admire that.
Cats don’t care about most things
Disdainful is the word commonly used to describe the cat not caring face. They don’t even care enough to disagree; they genuinely don’t care.
Cats don’t care if you go out with mismatched socks.
Cats don’t care if you want to sit on the couch.
Cats don’t care if they take their bath on the counter right next to your dinner.
Cats don’t care how loudly they scratch in the litterbox, even if it’s 3:00 AM.
Cats reserve their caring for important ideas
They have short lists, and the only items that are on those lists are things they care about strongly. If something is worth spending life energy on, it makes it onto the list. Otherwise, it does not.
Cats do care about eating when it’s time to eat.
Cats do care about you cleaning the litterbox at the right interval.
Cats do care about getting petted on their schedule.
Cats are cool
Cats relax through life. There is no day to day stress significant enough to interrupt life the way a cat has already envisioned it.
They sleep when they’re tired.
They drink when they’re thirsty.
They eat when they’re hungry.
They play when they want to play.
Cats don’t hold grudges
If I did something yesterday that the cats didn’t like, that makes little difference. Today is today. Today is not yesterday. Cats don’t get those two confused.
Cats always give you the opportunity to do it right. They don’t remember that you did it wrong.
Cats will reinforce the behavior they want from you. They’ll keep nudging your hand until you pet them. They don’t slink away in a huff.
Cats will treat you the same way every day.
Life is short
Life is also long enough. The only things important enough to fill your life with are things you want in your life. If you’ve got tasks you need to do to live, you must do those. Many times, though, we fill our lives with the leftover crap that other people don’t want in theirs.
Cats have no room in their days for nonsense. Their days are already full of what they want.
Cats have strong wills. If they don’t want to do something, it’s just not happening.
Cats may have nine lives, but none of them are available to fill up with extraneous garbage.
Cats are extremists
We’re not generally taught that our lives are our own. From an early age, people want to give us ideas they think are better for us than our own. Sometimes, they’re right. Sometimes, though, they’re really, really wrong.
Picking and choosing what I care about makes a lot of sense to me.
Living each day stress-free, without the need to beat up myself or anyone else up for yesterdays that didn’t quite work out, is a simple and very doable idea.
Remembering that the only moment I am living in is this one right now, sounds perfect.
That’s about as simple a way to live as I can imagine. No extraneous details, no anxious watching of the news to learn about stuff that I can’t do anything about, no pedal to the metal the instant I awake.
I know my life isn’t the same as the cat’s life, but I also know that using them as an example of how to live with less stress feels better. When I let go of stuff I don’t want in my life, I feel better. And since it’s my life, I think I should get to feel the way I want.
Thank you, cats, my life is better because of you.