I Learned About the Gift of Being Quiet From My Cats

I've learned that it's okay to be true to my quiet nature, and my cats helped teach me that.

I am a quiet person. And strange as it may sound, my cats help me to be okay with that. Why would it feel not good to be quiet? Sometimes, to me, the world seems very noisy. I’m a person who does not have a lot of noise tolerance. For example, I can make a day-long car drive and not even want to turn the radio on once. I love music, but I like silence a lot of the time, too. I’m the kind of person who loves silence when I work. In fact, I often wear a set of heavy, sound-blocking headphones when I work, to block out the noises from the rest of the world.

Zorro, being calm and majestic at the top of the stairs!

I think this may have something to do with why I am drawn to cats. Cats have a quiet energy of their own, at least the ones in my house do. Granted, I know that there are cats who are noisier than others. Some cats are demanding. But cats overall carry themselves with grace and kind of an inner composure that really puts me at peace. I think my cats have taught me that it’s okay to be who I am — basically a quiet person. How do they do this? With their own quiet energy.

1. They spend a lot of time not making noise

True, when a cat decides to make noise, it’s really something. But for the majority of the day, my cats are really quiet. They can be noisy at mealtime, and there’s the rare cat-fight or spat, but that’s about it. I knew early on that I might have a hard time being the parent of a human child. Kids are noisy! There’s nothing wrong with that. I was a noisy kid, too. I think it would just be hard for me. I’m a much better cat parent.

Sleeping cat by Shutterstock

2. They are drawn to meditation

I love to meditate! I understand that it can be difficult at first for some — I teach it — but I was always naturally drawn to it. It is not hard for me to sit in silence for 15 minutes, even an hour. My cats inspire me to meditate just by how they carry out life in a day. They spend a lot of time sitting in silence. They also love to join me when I meditate. It almost feels as if we share some kind of a common energy. I particularly love it when a cat crawls into my lap during that special silent time.

Strangely, I learned that even a guided meditation on a tape is too much for me (I had the opportunity to do one, a week ago). I much prefer silent, sitting meditation.

3. They quietly ask for attention

Mostly, my cats are quiet and subtle when it comes to asking for attention. I love that — it’s as if I have to be extra in tune to realize what they are asking for. A sideways glance against my legs, a subtle head butt, even a certain look — these are things my cats do.

I do know that some cats are a little less subtle about asking for attention. Zorro talked constantly when he first integrated into our household. He’s a very affectionate boy and I think he wanted to make sure that things were going to be okay. Some cats have a head butt like a sumo wrestler! But my current clowder is usually pretty quiet and subtle.

\A cat holding his head in a human hand by Shutterstock.com

4. Sometimes they fade into the background — and need attention

Kieran, my Turkish Van, is the one who I have to watch out for here. He’s so quiet that he can get missed, while a showier cat demands all the attention. It does remind me of certain human situations, and that’s when I make sure to seek Kieran out and give him the quiet love that he loves. I feel good, then, and so does he.

For those of us who are more quiet, it can be an overwhelmingly noisy world. I know this has something to do with why I love nature, and why I often end up living in quiet places. It may be counter to a lot of the world to be quiet, but it is the way that I am. Quiet doesn’t have to mean shy, or weak, or any of those other descriptors that sometimes get clumped with quietness. Quiet just is. To me, my cats gracefully embody a quiet spirit, and it helps me better be who I am.

Do you have this experience? Tell me about it 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.

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