Cats have really got this whole thing figured out …
Cats are incredible. They are elegant, curious, independent, loving, simply magical companions, and they have a lot to teach us. Here are the 10 most important lessons I have learned from my cat, Agata – with whom I developed a very close relationship in a very short time.
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
The most fascinating thing about cats is their hygiene. I am always amazed by how much time they spend on cleaning themselves — with a lot of dedication and enjoyment. After eating, they take time to clean themselves properly, once you cuddle them too much, they will take their time to fix their fur. I feel like we humans totally misunderstand hygiene. There are those who just like to cover up their natural self with too much aftershave, makeup, hair gel or nail polish. And there are those who forget to brush their teeth, shower once a week or don’t even own a comb. Hygiene is important — because it means taking care of our bodies, not just with cleaning, but also with exercise. My cat is also a real yoga master. She stretches all the time and doesn’t stay in one position for too long, keeping the energies alive and moving.
2. Listen to Your Body
Speaking about food, aren’t we incredibly obsessive with these new food trends? Most of us lost the connection with their body — they either are obsessed with junk food or with one of the newest superfood diets. Cats eat simply. They drink a lot of water and only eat when they really feel hunger. We need to re-learn to listen to our bodies — what they are communicating and what they need at that time.
3. Learn to Trust, Even When It’s Hard to Let Go
I found my cat Agata in the streets of Bogota, alone, crying for help. She had some serious injuries and was missing one tooth. I brought her to the veterinarian and took her in, nurturing her until she was feeling better. I seriously don’t know what she experienced in the street or with some horrible people, but she is showing signs of abuse and mistreatment. She is really scared and cautious, but with a lot of time and by giving her a lot of love, she is starting to trust again. And that is incredible learning — because we humans, once something strong happened to us, tend to carry this experience around for years, developing unhealthy habits and pushing others away. Animals are very different. Yes, they do have the same memory, but they are really good at overwriting negative experiences and giving life another chance to be truly beautiful.
4. Give & Receive Love Naturally
Agata inspired us to create a whole program for animals of the streets called AGATA. Now that Agata is starting to trust me, she is super loving and always wants to be close to me. But I realize she is doing that in a really natural way. When she is feeling like sharing a moment with me, she will come and sit down next to me, indicating with a loving “meow” that she wants to share some love. And when she has enough, she will get up and go do her thing, without any judgement or consequence. We humans have forgotten how to be natural with love. Most of us experienced a lack of love when we were younger, so when we are adults we are seeking fulfilment in a relationship.
Why do we fight? Why do we sometimes feel bad? It all comes down to the one desire of love. We interpret too many things in the actions of others, we reject, we hurt, we cling. What we can learn from our fellow cats is to just be intuitive with love, as it is the most natural thing in this world.
5. Play More
Most cats just love to play. If you have any kind of string, ball — or in fact anything that moves, they will take a moment to have a good time. In our hectic lives, it is so crucial that we take the time to just have fun — play a board game, enjoy a team sport, lose ourselves in the fantasy world of a book or movie, do a personality quiz, compete in a video game, or whatever feels like just plain fun to you. There are hundreds of ways to feel like a kid again and just be free.
6. Enjoy the Little Things
A toilet, food, a place to sleep, and some love — that’s all a cat needs. To play, she is perfectly happy with a string, or a shoe, or a piece of paper. This world is teaching us that we need the newest iPhone, the most expensive vacation, the trendiest clothes — that is what it means to be happy. But really the opposite is true. We need more simplicity in our lives. And once you discover the beauty of the simple things, you take a lot of pressure from your shoulders and start to walk on clouds.
7. Live in the Moment
Animals have an impressive skill — once something happens to them that causes either joy, anger, or fear, they feel the emotion in a moment, and then they let it go. They don’t judge, hold grudges or anticipate — they just are. This is how it should be. Every moment and experience is an energy that is passing through us, but we humans tend to not let this energy flow, then it gets stuck inside of us in the form of thought and feeling. To live the moment means to let go of every moment every second — that is what it means to go with the flow.
8. Be Attentive
Agata never loses her attention. Whether she is cleaning herself, eating or sleeping, she is always attentive of everything that is going on around her. Her little ears move constantly and her nose is always active. She can focus on one thing, but even then she will never lose herself in anything she does. Our world requires us to be attentive at all times, so we won’t lose our focus on what is important.
9. Make Eye Contact
A cat’s eyes are truly magical. Agata sometimes just looks me into the eyes for minutes, and I can truly see universes in there. She doesn’t feel any fear of connecting on a deep level with you. When have you last really looked someone into the eyes, for more than just a second? We tend to avoid eye-contact because it makes us feel uncomfortable. The eyes are the window to the soul they say, and we are constantly trying to let no one see us. Let’s learn again to trust and open ourselves to others, as well as show our real faces.
Besides being attentive, Agata never stops exploring. Every corner and new object, she is exploring and investigating. To be alive means to have that sense of adventure, of learning and getting to know things we don’t know yet, but with sharp attention. How many of us get stuck in routine, habits and laziness? Let’s discover our inner explorer again — because this world has so much to offer.
I have one more suggestion thanks to Agata’s wisdom: Next time you look at your cat or dog (or any other animal in your life), look at them with different eyes — not as just a “pet” but as a master who has something important to show you.
Inspired by this post I created a video with my 3 cats (when I wrote this post there was only Agata, now we adopted also Pepina & Mapurito), enjoy:
Thank you for appreciating my art!