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Lessons learned from the cat

In this week's column, Wendy explains how her cat taught her a valuable lesson about wasting time
hiding kitten stock
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I learned a valuable lesson from my cat recently.

There are so many lessons we can learn from animals, from how to be kind to how to know when a storm is coming.

They have good instincts about people. If your dog or cat doesn’t like a person, pay attention.

Of course, they have way better vision and hearing than we do. (Although, I would appreciate it if mine didn’t hear weird noises in the house at 3 a.m.)

They know the warmest spot in the house.

They know how to get what they want by looking cute.

So, recently, I had taken my cat with me on a four-hour trip to my hometown. I always take him because it's like a country retreat. Otis spends the days sniffing the fresh air and the butts of his eight country cat cousins. 

He loves the “being there,” but he detests the “going there."

I can totally understand being stuck in a plastic carrier for a long period of time has got to be a drag. Remember how long those road trips to grandma’s house felt back in the day? It is likely a lot like that.

Anyway, worse than the trip there is the trip to come home. We have started to shut all the doors and possible means of escape well ahead of the actual event.

Yes, sad as it may be, a cat can outwit, outlast and outplay three adults.

The lesson part came the day before we were leaving. I mistakenly took the suitcase out to the door to load the car early.

The sight of that suitcase could mean only one thing – a miserable four-hour ride in a cage can’t be far behind.

So, I notice Otis is nowhere to be found. He wasn’t looking out the window. He wasn’t following me around. He wasn’t hanging around with the other cats. He wasn’t begging for treats.

That’s because he was hiding under the bed. He would not come out and was smart enough to know I am incapable of crawling under to get him out. We pleaded and we plotted, but there he stayed.

Finally, as cat moms do, I announced out loud: “Otis, we aren’t going home today! You are wasting your last day being a scaredy cat. You are wasting all your time worrying about tomorrow.”

And there it was.

I do it all the time. Maybe you do, too. Wasting one day worrying about what may happen the next day. Sometimes, I can ruin a totally fine day fearing the coming day. 

Other times, I am so excited for some upcoming event that I wish my time away. 

There are so many days we allow to just rush by because we are preparing for a big trip or the next job or project. It is like some days we spend trying to get through rather than take in.

Those in the wellness field always say, “Stay present. Be in the moment.”

It is a constant challenge. 

We all need to slow it down.

I am going to try to take a page from a cat who wasted a whole day hiding under a bed to avoid the inevitable. 

And when the inevitable cage came, it wasn’t so bad. It had a soft towel, toys, a treat. And as it turns out a long car ride is perfect for a nice long cat nap.


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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