Life Lessons From a Cat: Keep Your Nose Clean and Be Open

(This is the 2nd blog in a series of 3)

            When we talked about getting a puppy, my husband proclaimed that he wanted an orange kitten as well, so the two could grow up as buddies. Someone dropped off such a kitten at a local pet store, and after a local cat rescue organization checked it out, we brought it home.
            Not too long after we’d gotten it, a vet told us it’s rare to have a female orange tabby. That probably explains why when the ladies at Alley Cat Guardians went to neuter what they thought was a male kitten, they learned she was a Sissy instead of a Cicero! Sissy’s first lesson for us started before we even brought her home. Never assume anything about anyone.
            As soon as we let her out of my husband’s office where she’d been staying while her stitches healed, she began to teach us how important it is to remain open and curious about all of life. You never know what lies behind that cupboard or closet door.  You never know when that door of opportunity will be opened and you’ll be able to explore a new direction in life or business. Also, Sissy’s green-eyed curiosity extends to embracing others regardless of differences or similarities—a valuable skill in a world where there is much diversity and everyone has valuable life lessons to teach us.
            The other thing we’ve learned from Sissy is to be persistent.  If you want something badly enough, proclaim what it is that you desire, focus on it, then wait patiently. It will come to you if you stay focused. Sissy knows this. She’ll sit for the entire length of a dinner while she waits for my husband to take the magic wand that holds the flying yellow and blue feathers and twirl it around for her to chase. She’ll consistently wander around my feet while I’m working at my desk, crying in that slow, methodical way she does, until I pick her up and she gets to sit on my lap and purr. What you focus on you get, so if you want something good, focus on that.  If you focus on something negative, that’s what you get. What is it that you’re focusing on today?  Can you notice how you’re getting more of the same?  This is why being grateful for what you have already, brings more you can be grateful for.
            And finally, another one of the endearing qualities about Sissy is that she’s a fastidious groomer, often cleaning not only my hands, but also Bart’s fur as well. I call these kitty kisses and I cherish them. Experiencing this, it’s hard to understand why, on occasion, she’s unable to keep herself groomed. Her inability to keep her nose clean has saddled her with the nickname, “Boogers.” 
            Adopting Sissy’s life philosophies of

  • never assuming anything about anyone
  • staying curious and open for what and who life has to offer
  • focusing on and waiting patiently for what you want
  • keeping your nose clean so you don’t get funny nicknames
    will help you stay in wide-eyed curiosity and gratitude about all life offers and has to teach.