Cats Don’t Send Christmas Cards

by Michael
(London, UK)

Not sending one but on it! Photo and artwork by Jeanette's Ozpix (Flickr)

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…..

Michael Avatar

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Cats Don't Send Christmas Cards

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Nov 26, 2010 Christmas cards are a waste
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

I don't send Christmas cards either, unless I put a letter in there with the card or written on the card itself. If you don't put a letter in there it's a waste of a stamp. I mean really, how do you feel when you get a Christmas card and there's no letter in there and nothing written in the card except a signature or the briefest of greetings? My response is, "Well, what do I do with this now?" Sure, you look at the pretty picture, but then what? A letter you can save and reread even after the person is gone-- but a card? I save the front of the cards in a file for possible use in arts and crafts projects for kids if I ever go back to teaching. The rest of the card, where they signed it and didn't write a letter, goes in the trash. I never send a Christmas card without a letter in there, so I send very few Christmas cards. And if you see a person too often to justify a letter, then what are you mailing a card for? I can't get my head around that.

Nov 23, 2010 Well said, Sylvia
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Thanks, Sylvia, for the interesting read. But! I did read the Da Vinci Code and loved it! Of course, it's just a story...

Sadie lives on in my heart, along with her ashes in a beautiful box, a lock of her fur, some mementos and photos. Although we move on with life, there will always be that special place.

I disagree with Michael's point of cats not being concerned with death though. I understand the points given and generally agree. The concept of death may be alien to cats, but I've seen, first-hand, the grieving process of my brother's cat after their Alsatian died. Still, the cat grieves years later and won't accept another animal. His personality changed also from the time the dog died to present day. It's very strange and he's been seen by the vet - nothing physically wrong with him.

Nov 20, 2010 Giving
by: Kath

Now I'm going to give the money I would have wasted on Christmas cards and the postage to an animal sanctuary.
Michael and Ruth you have made me think about what life is about and how animals accept it.
I wish I was near enough to come to your event,I hope it goes well.

Nov 20, 2010 Don't Send Christmas Cards!
by: Dorothy

Thanks for bringing Eckhart Tolle into a conversation. I love his books. And you are right. Our furry friends live in the present moment. They are always happy to see you, even if they were miffed when you left.

They live in the "Now" quite easily. Maybe that is why no matter what is going on in the humans thoughts that are NOT in the now..worry about tomorrow, dwelling on yesterday, hanging out in the past....we can always come right back to the present when our cats rub against our legs and ask for attention. The 'not now' thoughts go away, and we are ever present with our little loves. They are natures secret weapons to help us get over our damn selves, and enjoy the present.

There is so much to learn from the animals. Yep.


Nov 20, 2010 Christmas
by: Ruth

How I agree Michael ! Cats accept the here and now, they don't regret the past or think of the future, they enjoy (or endure in the case of abused ones) each day.
Our cats do have Christmas presents and they enjoy them but in reality we enjoy even more seeing their pleasure in new catnip mice and scratching posts. They give so much to us in love and companionship, we want to give pleasure back to them and we do all year round, they don't actually care what day it is.
But Christmas is about giving and we will have a quiet one as usual, but before that in December we are having a 'Mince Pie Morning' and raffle at Babz office to raise funds for Kays Hill, to give the animals there a Christmas dinner. A lonely old man whose wife committed suicide, is being our Santa Claus, that will make him feel loved and wanted.
The love and companionship of an event in a Funeral Office is heart warming.
I wish you could all come !
Babz will have put the Memorium tree up and it will bring in donations too and we hope a lot of people will come and make it a wonderful event.

All I'm saying really is that if everyone thought about others and animals, instead of wanting and getting into debt buying expensive presents, they might just find out what Christmas is all about and enjoy it much more.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Nov 16, 2010 Humans
by: Michael

Hi Sylvia. Thanks for the comment...a bit too philosophical for me, maybe....:-) I think I understand reality. It's cold and damp and I want some sun on my back! The basics seem real enough. Perhaps all the rest is a sort of fiction.

But I agree that people have great qualities too. I just think that we can learn from the qualities of our cats! And in admiring these simple but perfectly-in-tune-with-nature qualities we can learn to live a bit better and respect the cat at the same time = more harmony.

Michael Avatar

Nov 15, 2010 Phooey on Cards.
by: Sylvia Ann

There’s a fair number of miraculous birth and resurrection myths floating around in the Fertile Crescent: Mithra’s is one of the better known. Yet the poetry in the Hebraic version is better than Shakespeare’s. (If you’ve not done so yet, don’t bother to read The Da Vinci Code. Despite his glass house, the stone-throwing Steven King labels it ‘bum gravy.’)

No disrespect is intended, by the way, in calling these myths. We’re all sunk to the gills in mythology.

So far from there being such a thing as ‘thorough knowledge,’ the radical constructivists doubt the existence of even partial knowledge. From their perspective, all we have are manmade fictions that - if we pretend our fictions are truths - can lead to great results.

In contrast to folks who know what’s what, Socrates said he knew he knew nothing. Several fun reads - as you’ll likely agree if you’ve already read them - are Vaihinger’s The Philosophy of ‘As If’: A System of the Theoretical, Practical and Religious Fictions of Mankind, Watzlawick’s How Real is Real? and the paradoxes of Zeno.

The best in the arts and human wisdom survives the ages. But there’s little else of our hard-won knowledge that hasn’t been sooner or later disproved and supplanted by knowledge that fades in its turn, as new versions appear. Spengler in his Decline of the West advanced the view that what we deem ‘knowledge’ withers away when the culture from which it sprang congeals into civilization -- which also subsides into nothingness. Pffttt....

Is there any truth in the above? ‘What in the Sam Hill is truth?’ [Pilate]
Be that as it may, it’s not only the kitties. We humans are also endowed with virtues.

Our love for other humans can last. When our mates die, some of us grieve as long as Victoria. (That is, before she set eyes on Disraeli.)

It can also become as long in the tooth as a Three-Day Affair. If our erstwhile beloved collapsed in a heap, we wouldn’t bend down to prop them into a sitting position.

And yet our devotion to our Louisas, our Sadies and Poppies endures to the end. They’re enshrined in our memories until we breathe our last.


Cats Don’t Send Christmas Cards — 2 Comments

  1. 🙂 So nice to see my pic is getting around. Thanks!!
    Btw, I quit sending Christmas cards some years back, but now I do like receiving them again. I feel that those who sent me cards this Christmas meant it and it was not because they had to.
    So next Christmas, I may start sending cards again… just because I want to… not because I have to.

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