|Have you ever
owned a cat? They are the perfect teachers for us. They've
been living around humans for about five million years, only half as
long as domesticated dogs have. Even though they have consented
to live with us, cats very definitely still retain some of their wild
characteristics. We as humans are all the better for observing
and hopefully adopting some of their attitudes.
Even though cats have chosen to live with us, they remain independent, nearly wild creatures. They are keenly aware of their inner nature, and they make no apologies for it. They don't negotiate. They approach us, secure in who they are, with a "Here's who I am, take it or leave it" attitude. And even though they have had to make a few concessions to live with us, they remain strong and self-sufficient.
We can take a lesson from cats. They are self-assured and self-confident. When they need or want our attention, they will tell us. The rest of the time, they are happy to be on their own, poking into nooks and crannies, amusing themselves with whatever they find, rustling up a snack by catching a stray bird or mouse, and making themselves at home right in the middle of our stuff. They can very easily fend for themselves, but they still like some affection from us on a regular baisis. This is a bit strange because cats in the wild do not seem to share this need. They obviously prefer our company and have chosen our affection over that of others of their species.
A well cared for cat is a perfect example of the attitude humans so desperately need to embrace. How many of us have poor self-esteem and seem to constantly apologize for who we are? How many of us doubt our abilities? And how many of us can't enjoy being alone with ourselves? How many of us have trouble asking for what we need and feeling worthy to receive it? How many of us choose to be with those we really enjoy and feel free to disassociate ourselves from those that don't nurture us? To me, the phrase which describes cats which we most need to identify with is the statement that cats are "keenly aware of their inner nature." Few of us truly know ourselves intimately, and what we do know about ourseles we don't accept or really like very much. Or, we have erroneous and uncomfortable perceptions of ourselves. Cats are never fooled about who they are, they accept themselves totally and don't question that they have a right to this status. Hopefully we will too.