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5 More Life Lessons I Learned From My (Other) Cat

I've learned a lot from my cat Norton, but that doesn't mean my other cats -- like sweet Jamie BlueBell -- don't have life lessons as well.

Catherine Holm  |  May 13th 2015


My little orange-and-white cat, Norton, had a lot of life lessons for me. Well, it turns out that his housemate (one of five other cats who live here), Jamie BlueBell, has a lot of life lessons, too, and she makes sure I know it.

ALL our cats have life lessons for us, I believe. Some of the lessons are funny, some are deep, many are memorable. Jamie BlueBell’s lessons are shaped by her unique, cute, and funny personality. Here they are:

1. Never miss an opportunity to meditate

That’s right. Even though Jamie is a calico and she has her moments of calico craziness, she LOVES to meditate. When I do my yoga practice in the morning, I usually end with five to 10 minutes of meditation. Guess who comes into my lap? She sits and sits, and would sit there for a half hour if I did.

Jamie BlueBell is a long-legged, sweet girl with a sense of humor.

Jamie BlueBell is a long-legged, sweet girl with a sense of humor.

 

I believe that Jamie is learning to be more loving and more of a lap cat since we have started allowing her back into the bedroom at night. For a long time, we allowed no cats in the bedroom, but she cried so piteously and cutely at the bedroom door that we gave in. Are we cat suckers? Yes.

2. Practice random moments of joy and spazziness

Is this a calico thing? Or a tortie thing? Quite often, for no reason at all, Jamie will suddenly flop down on the floor, and (joyfully?) start rolling around — back and forth, back and forth. At least it looks as if she is joyful. And it usually makes us laugh, too. We encourage her with her signature sound “woo woo” (more on that in a moment), and that seems to make her even more joyful. Maybe it’s just a random moment of spontaneous happiness that she needs to get out of her system. I should start doing that myself, more often. (I can always do it in front of my cats if seems to crazy to do in public.)

3. Fake it till you make it

Jamie doesn’t worry about whether she looks good or not. She seems to inherently believe she looks good all the time — and she does. She is actually a beautiful cat, but not at all conceited about it. She’s never “faked” it, whereas I have my days where I’m not sure I want to head out of the house! I’ll take a lesson from Jamie and BELIEVE that all will go well … and, it will. I’ll strut out of the house, smile, and expect good things to come my way — inspired by Ms. BlueBell.

Snuggling with her favorite buddy, Kieran.

Snuggling with her favorite buddy, Kieran.

 

4. Love overrules fear

I’ve always believed this, but Ms. Jamie has shown me again and again that it’s true. I’ve watched this play out with the interactions between her and Zorro, my Ragdoll that we rescued a little more than a year ago. Jamie was at first afraid of Zorro, and Zorro (likely picking up on her fear), was aggressive toward her. He never hurt her, and it never turned into an all-out cat fight, but he would chase her. For a long time, one room in the house was her safe zone, where she would always retreat.

Over time, I’m not sure exactly what happened, but Zorro grew more secure with his place in the household. Perhaps Jamie grew more secure, too. Over time, she began coming out of the office more. She wanted to be in the rest of the house. And Zorro began backing off and not being so aggressive toward her. Slowly, things got better and better until one day (on a yoga mat, of all places), I looked up from a seated pose and saw the two of them stretched out, gently and languidly pawing at each other with front paws. It’s a moment that melts a cat lover’s heart.

Jamie having one of her roll-around happy fits on a chair.

Jamie having one of her roll-around happy fits on a chair.

 

Jamie has come so far that she now looks for Zorro and the opportunity to give him a light smack — but it’s a teasing and friendly smack, and not aggressive. Zorro doesn’t seem to mind at all. The dynamic has completely changed, and Jamie’s sunny personality is shining through. (Zorro is pretty sunny, too.)

Jamie BlueBell.

Jamie BlueBell.

 

5. Talking smart is overrated

If you were a fly on the wall in my house, you would hear a lot of silly, nonsensical conversations. And that’s okay! Jamie has encouraged that. Learning that she liked to make the sound “woo woo,” I learned quickly to respond back. She seems to love it. And we all laugh. Sometimes it’s okay to have a silly conversation. When you need a break from the seriousness of life, try talking nonsense to your cats. You might find it fun!

What are some unique, serious, or not-so-serious life lessons from your cat? Tell us in the comments!

More by Catherine Holm:

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.