The more I watch my cats’ behavior, the more I am fascinated by how some things transpire. I once watched my two very funny cats (orange/white Norton and black Rama) pull a food dish back and forth, as if they had hands rather than paws. As I watched this, I wondered what it would be like if humans adopted some of the cat behaviors that I see daily.
Here’s what I think would happen if humans acted more like their cats:
1. We’d all sleep a lot more — and more soundly
Ironically, this has been the story of my life for the past few days. It’s Tuesday as I write this; Saturday, a cold bug snuck up on me. All I have done is sleep for the last four days. Normally this would drive me crazy, but when your body’s fighting a bad virus, sleeping seems to be what you need to do. I’m too tired to feel any guilt about the amount of time I’ve spent facing a pillow. I never see my cats looking guilty about sleeping, either. Maybe I could learn something from them.
Woman asleep in bed with striped cat by Shutterstock.com’>
My cats sleep even when they don’t have a choice. For example, they’re all currently shut in two not-too-big rooms, because there’s some serious deconstruction/reconstruction going on in the bathroom, and I don’t want the cats to get underfoot or hurt. Did they object at first? Yes. Odds are that they then simply went back to sleep.
Closeup portrait of a tired businesswoman sleeping by Shutterstock.com’>
2. We’d have spontaneous bursts of joy and play, followed by sleeping
I love this idea, much like I’ve always suspected that short intense workouts would be more fun than long, draggy ones. Often the short bursts of play with cats are initiated by me. Perhaps I ought to bring this philosophy more strongly into my own life. As I think about this more, I actually do put this into play, especially when it’s nice out. If a garden is calling, there’s very little that can keep me at a desk. I’ll have my short burst of joy outside — pull some weeds, take a ski or walk in the woods — and then get back to work. Perhaps my cats have strengthened my outlook.
3. We’d get annoyed quickly, get it out of our system, and move on
Cat posturing is so fascinating. It escalates quickly, might involve some physical yowling or wrestling, and is over just as fast as it started. (I know that there are exceptions to this, but in my household at this time, the cats seem currently to be well adjusted to each other.) I’m not a “fighter,” but if I could learn to let go of resentments and annoyances like my cats do — wow. There’s always an exception, of course, and we all know that there’s some cat somewhere (or some human somewhere) who can hold on to a grudge forever.
Angry couple by Shutterstock.com’>
4. We’d take posturing a little more seriously
Posturing used to make me think of fat old politicians (or any politicians) grandstanding about something and talking too much — until I got cats. There’s something so cool about watching the age-old dance of cat posturing taking place. One cat lords it over another, puffing out his chest; another cat flops down beneath the first. We cat lovers have all seen this. If I puffed out my chest, would my partner or friend flop down at my feet? Fun!
On a more serious note, I remember having a conversation with a massage therapist about how our recently deceased black cat Target loved to sprawl across my husband’s chest, almost in a possessive way. (There was a certain way that Target would splay his front legs across my husband’s chest that seemed to say, “You are MINE!”) The massage therapist encouraged me to play that out in my own body, right then and there. Darned if it didn’t feel good to embody and remember Target that way.
Scottish cat eating chicken wings by Shutterstock.com’>
5. We’d eat with our faces really close together from one dish
Most of my cats aren’t shy when it comes to eating. They’ll stick their face right in a bowl and get what they can. They certainly don’t worry about social mores. Why should they? In my case, we had table manners strongly drummed into us when I was a child, and I’m not sure I could pull this off — except in play, of course.
6. We’d jump into each other’s laps whenever possible
My cats love a lap. Seriously, what could be better than this — cat to human, or human to human?
What would it look like in your household if you acted more like your cats? Let us know in the comments!
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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.