Lessons In Life Your Cat Can Teach You

Weird. How can a domestic cat teach humans anything? I am sure many people will initially think that.  The human is far too arrogant to believe that it is possible. However, James Bowen thinks his cat has given him life-lessons. He is about to write a book based around the mutual support between Bob, his cat, and himself. He was a drug addict. He was a busker in London, UK, until he met and adopted a special ginger stray cat. I am sure you have heard about him.

A Relationship Between Cat and Person

A Relationship Between Cat and Person

I don’t know for sure what lessons Bob has taught Andrew. I can only guess. And I am going to do the guessing here, on this page, right now, as I write.

Just Being There – Reliability

People are often unreliable. They don’t turn up or turn up late. They make promises but don’t keep them. They lie blah, blah…..

Cats don’t do any of these things. What they actually do, is to always be there. They love routine and stick to it. You know where you are with a domestic cat. Their reliability is a very attractive characteristic. Lesson 1: People can learn to be there for the other person and be reliable.

No Arguments

Yes, cats don’t argue. Well, that is not quite true. I do argue with my cat from time to time….However, the peace, quiet and harmony that flows from a no-argument-environment is very pleasant indeed. Some human to human relationships are almost argument free but a lot are peppered with the confetti of disagreement that grates and chips away at the partnership. Lesson 2: People can learn to stop arguing with their partners.


The domestic cat, God bless him or her, is very persistent. They get their way by keeping on going. They don’t give up easily, in my experience. If it is time to give Charlie his chicken, he gets his chicken after he has given me the cat equivalent of Chinese water torture; the drip, drip, drip of the faint meow that drives me into the kitchen to shut him up…please..Lesson 3: People can learn to keep trying, never giving up. People can achieve so much more in the long term with that attitude.

Someone To Care For

We have to care for our cats. We take responsibility for our cat’s wellbeing. It is a good thing. Lesson 4: People are better for having to care for another.


Cats have a much greater ability to quietly accept what happens to them. People tend to moan and complain and are rarely if ever satisfied with their lot.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Cats have bucket loads full of serenity. Lesson 4: People can learn to find inner harmony by accepting the things they cannot change.

Quiet Comfort

Without knowing it cats provide quiet reassuring comfort to us. Lesson 5: People can learn that they don’t have to do something for a person they love; they just have to be there…reliably.

Has your cat taught you something….?

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Lessons In Life Your Cat Can Teach You — 4 Comments

  1. I’ve started working on a similar book about Monty and all I have learned from him. I have about four chapters done, but haven’t touched it in a long time. I should be like my friend Ruth from college who’s always posting on Facebook about how many thousands (usually tens of thousands) of words she wrote today. She’s written several books, both novels and non-fiction. I don’t know if she has ever written a book about her cat Dorian.
    James Bowen’s cat really has done a lot for him that he can go from being a drug addict to being disciplined enough to write a book. I’m better with projects that can completed in one day to about a week at most. A couple of years ago my mom finished embroidering some pillow cases I had started working on in about 1982. It just was taking too long, so I never touched them again. I’m hoping I can conquer my aversion to big projects and finish a book about Monty, because he deserves one. He has taught me a lot. I did actually finish writing an entire play for children, including eight songs, based on the history of my hometown. But even that, though the biggest project I ever completed, is small potatoes compared to a book about Monty.

    • Great to hear your ideas on this. I am similar to you. I am better at small, fast projects. That said you can break down a big project into small, fast projects and join them together! Pleased that Monty has taught you things. People need to be open to learning from other animals. The barrier to that is human arrogance and the belief that we are above all animals.

      I look forward to reading your book. Really. Maybe you can reconstruct it and finish it as a shorter version?

  2. A lot of what will be in it has already been posted here on PoC . As PoC challenges me to think of what is the right relationship between humans and animals and what constitutes proper care of our planet and the beings who inhabit it with us, I have already hashed out many ideas that will be in the book. If it ever gets written. I did break that play into smaller segments. Each song was a segment, each person from history featured in it was one small research project. Maybe I have to do Monty’s book that way. As if I intend to write only one chapter, then work in that until it is finished. Maybe. Thanks for the idea, Michael!

  3. Without my cats Matahari and Matata and the oldest pet resident of my house,Alexandrine parakeet “Mittoo”, life would have been dull at home to a lonely bachelor.Caring, Writing, making videos and contributing articles on “P.O.C” about my cats and parakeet have kept me occupied and busy.Honestly, i owe my pets a lot in contributing to making my own personal human life happy.

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