Some of us are open to the possibility of learning life lessons from observing and interacting with our cats. In this instance, a lady in America moved to a new home in the country. She was quite a mild-mannered person who, perhaps, lacked a bit of confidence. She felt that she had been too subservient to assertive male cohabitees throughout her life. By “cohabitee” I mean a live-in boyfriend or husband. This subservience of giving way may have niggled her a bit but it was not in her nature to be assertive.
Soon after moving in to her new home, which I can visualise as being quite large and very pleasant, a female cat wandered into her life. It was the usual gradual process of a stray cat coming up to the house and eventually being fed. Then your new cat friend comes into the home and…voilà you have a cat companion. She named her charming new companion, “Alpha”. This was her first cat at her new home. Over time she added plenty of other animals.
Times were good. Then a male cat turned up. He was one of those alpha-type cats that have the confidence to march into a strange home go straight to the kitchen where the feeding bowls are and start eating. If someone turns up they just defend their “right” to be there.
And so it happened that this newcomer, whom she named “Mac” routinely ate Alpha’s food. What annoyed this lady was that Alpha cowered away in a corner and let him do as he pleased within her newly established cat territory.
It grated on her psyche. Subconsciously, she saw herself in her much loved female cat companion. She became annoyed and shouted at Mac to go, scram, get out of the house. This was her visceral, gut reaction and it come from her own weakness.
Then fairly soon afterwards a neighbour turned up asking for help. Her cat was ill and she didn’t know what to do. The cat was Mac and he was gravely ill. The lady falsely connected her shouting at him to Mac’s illness and this brought back sore memories of the last moments of her mother’s life when she had had an argument with her mother and those were the last words she had spoken to her before her mother died.
Alpha and Mac were tweaking the sore spots in her brain and it hurt. She cried bitterly when Mac died despite her untiring efforts to save him.
After Mac’s burial, she sat at home mournfully. Throughout the forthcoming days she was comforted by Alphas close presence. Alpha looked at her and jumped on her lap and in doing so calmed her and gently eased away the unhappiness she felt.
The lady looked at Alpha and said, “Both you and Mac have taught me a deep spiritual lesson. I will never direct anger at any creature, human or otherwise again. It is destructive and it can injure. Also, you have taught me to let others always choose their own actions and responses.”
Over the following days, Alpha’s presence gradually healed her tormented mind. Alpha’s acceptance of her reminded her that she was judging herself too harshly. She forgave herself for shouting at Mac.
She also learned from these cats that she must always be true to herself and her feelings. If that meant being more assertive with her human companion then so be it.
Have you learnt something about life from your cat or cats? For my part, my cats remind me to live in the present, as cats do. Don’t look back too much or forward with anxiety. Just live in the moment and make it as good as you can and don’t be too dominant with women…. 😉