Not sending one but on it! Photo and artwork by Jeanette's Ozpix (Flickr)
Date: 15th Nov. 2010: Cats don't send Christmas cards and neither do I. I stopped years ago. It just seemed as if I was being jerked around by the commercial market. Anyway I don't really believe in Christmas either! Back to cats.
Sometimes I might tell someone, who I know well enough and who is misbehaving, to look at how their cat behaves and copy it. They think I am mad (could be true)! It sounds odd but cats, dogs and indeed all companion animals "make the perfect humans" as Rita Mae Brown says. I fully agree with her. Rita wrote, "Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small".
Lets think of some areas of behaviour where our darling cat companion improves on us in respect of day to day behaviour and from which we can learn.
The first thing that springs to mind is the concept of racism. I think that humans are almost inherently racist, whether we admit it or not and I know that is highly controversial. It may have something to do with our tribal instincts. Cats are not and can never be racist. It is a concept that is completely foreign to them. Wouldn't it be nice if it was completely foreign to us?
How about preconceptions and bigotry? We are burdened by them and sometimes we don't know it or see it. A cat doesn't look at us and think, "God, he is old and stupid". Or, "OMG, she's ugly…". This sort of stuff is completely off the radar for our cat. That is one important reason why we love 'em so much. They accept us as we are. This is a vital ingredient in a good human to human relationship that many people fail to grasp, with a resultant breakdown in the relationship.
Before I cover some more obvious examples, the best is the following, but I am going to have to use a bit of imagination and experience to make this judgment. Cats live in the present. Have you heard of the book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - a self help book by Eckhart Tolle? He says the book "represents the essence of my work, as far as it can be conveyed in words" Well, as far as I am aware it is essentially about improving life by living in the present, focusing on what we are doing at any particular moment while putting aside our mental baggage that is our thoughts about the past and the future. It is these thoughts that, in general, impact negatively on our contentment. I agree this.
It takes mental effort and training to live in the present. It comes naturally to cats. For this reason I am going to make the bold decision and say that all things being equal, cats are more content than us. We should learn from the cat.
Back to the more mundane and less esoteric. The sad human tends to go to the extreme before he or she turns back - the human population explosion and over fishing are examples as is global warming, perhaps. Animals are able to keep a better balance with nature, naturally.
The domestic cat has no concept of property possession, or criminality such as stealing. There is a natural hierarchy and the food is shared in a well run household. A lot of the time people are defending their property and rights and getting wrapped up in overburdening political correctness.
There are a thousand more examples but I'll conveniently finish on death! Humankind, in general, has a fear of death. Some people are terrified of it. Cats simply accept it. They have no fear of it and don't even think about it. It is as natural as living and a cat's mental processes are far more natural than ours. They are more able to live in harmony with nature. Cats make the perfect humans…..