Today is International Cat Day! The day, created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare is a celebration that takes place on 8 August each year to raise awareness for our feline friends and learn about ways to help and protect them.
Cats have been documented human companions for over 4,000 years, with the earliest evidence being a 9,500-year-old co-burial between a human and a wildcat. From a science perspective, owning a pet cat can lower levels of anxiety and depression, as well as help bolster you through difficult times, particularly in dealing with grief and chronic stress.
In my case, my cat – Beato, is my best companion, who gives me lots of head rubs, cuddles and purrs, as he inspires me to write my series of children’s books.
Here are a few things I have learned from cat and you can too…
Lisa Zawistowski, Contributor at Huffington Post writes, cats teach us to love yourself first. “Clean your fur often, get 18 hours of sleep per day (or the human equivalent), eat little bits throughout the day rather than large meals and pursue things that interest you. Set high standards for yourself in all ways, and stick to it as if no other options exist. Make yourself a priority at all times, physically, mentally and emotionally. When you are healthy in every way, you will see a world ripe with catnip mice and opportunity.”
Cats have known to get their way around the house, whether it is getting a massage on your lap or a nap on a fresh batch of laundry. The way they do this is with utter confidence, a gentle but firm approach, and a strong sense of personality. Cats demand respect and undivided attention, but on their own terms. “Don’t come to me, I’ll come to you,” Beato would say, but he almost always answers to me 🙂
Cats are fearless when it comes to seeking new things and places. They will squeeze under the fence, climb on top of the refrigerator, fit into a UPS box, and not think twice about it. They can be clumsy but always land on their feet! We can learn to be more agile, fear less, not analyze the future, and be in the moment, from our feline friends.
House cats share 95.6% of their genetic makeup with tigers. Therefore, hunting and scratching is in their DNA. You can see tigers sitting still for hours, watching their prey and planning their course of attack, eventfully succeeding in their mission. What we can learn from the cat family is how to focus on what we want. Never loose sight of your goals and keep at it – even if the task is as small as a house fly!
Naps Naps Naps
Cats conserve energy by sleeping for an average of 13 – 14 hours a day, which equates to about 70 per cent of their lives sleeping. Now, I’m not suggesting you sleep all day, but it is important to take some time out for yourself, to nap, meditate, or simply do nothing (no television, cell phone, laptops).
Change Can Be Stressful
Stress and anxiety affect cats in similar ways that it can affect humans. When you move a cat into a new place, bring in strangers, or even do construction work, it can cause stress. You need time to adapt to changes, a good buddy and lots of love to help you get through the tough times in life.
You Don’t Have To Show Off Your Intelligence
While dogs are eager to please their master by performing tricks and heeding to commands, cats find it beneath them to follow orders. They know they are smart and don’t need to prove it. In fact, I have taught Beato a few things such as getting into a pet stroller, jumping on to a blanket and getting his manicure (with the help of a few treats of course).
Have you learned anything from your cat that you would like to share? Please leave your comment below and share your story.