What We Can Learn From Cats

Do you have pets? Have you ever stopped to think how much they mirror you and your behaviour? Or how often they trigger you? What can you learn from them?


I have 3 cats. I'm fascinated by how different they are. Like humans, they have a character of their own. As I've been learning to observe them in stillness, I've started wondering how much of their behaviour is a reflection of my Ego identity. 

Wolfie the cat

Wolfie, my first one, loves food, as I do! He eats slowly and quietly but if you let him he won't stop until he cannot move... just like me, sometimes! When he's hungry, he becomes irritated and angry, just like me and won't quit bugging me until I feed him. But, he's also picky. If he doesn't like the food, he won't touch it and will prefer to starve. And, if it's something he loves, he'll jump in, full force! Just like me! 


He loves to be caressed and seeks body contact... until he doesn't, just like me! 


He's the leader of the three and the other two respect and obey him. He chooses his spot in the house, and they have to comply and leave it to him. If I'm honest with myself, I feel the same way about my place. 


He's possessive and jealous and when I leave for more than a couple of days, I come back to find him with an attitude. He wants to be in the same room with me, but he sits with his back turned to me and doesn't let me touch him. It's like he's saying: "You left me, now I'll show you". 

Wolfie and Lulu mad at me

Was this ever me? Sure it was! "I'm mad, so I'll have an attitude. Give you the silent treatment, be moody, tell you nothing's wrong but also keep you at a distance! This will teach you not to neglect me again." Did this tactic ever work? Of course not.


What if the situation is reversed and I'm on the receiving end, like with Wolfie? What do I do with him? I give him loving space and let him act it out until he's had enough, or forgets (or forgives me?). No use in trying to change his mind, it won't work, he's just a cat with an attitude.


What if we did the same in our relationships? Give the other person the space they need, with no judgement. Just love and understanding. And let them make their move whenever they're ready, instead of trying to have it our way and impose our will. Wouldn't life be simpler?

Lulu my second cat

Lulu, my second one, is the weak one. She's a stray cat I rescued from the streets after a very big storm. She was 4-6 weeks old and in the first couple of weeks I had to give her antibiotics because she had pneumonia. She's quite a small cat. Like I was as a child... and I felt weak too!


She eats very slowly like I did when I was younger. I feel I have to protect and defend her. If I don't supervise when they're eating, she'll let the others eat her food! She seldomly stands up for herself. Just like I used to be.


She also gets an upset stomach and cries before she vomits. Exactly what I used to do as a child!


She suffers from skin rashes and spends half her day licking and scratching herself. Skin problems are also my body manifestation of stress and anxiety.

Lulu and me

Most of the time, when she sleeps, she sleeps on me. Many times, during the night, on my head. I think she feels protected. I'm her safety net.


She's my reminder of the younger version of me. The person I've outgrown. Feeling small and weak, never asking and expressing my wants and needs, a people pleaser, which resulted in repressed anger, anxiety attacks, skin and stomach problems.

The third cat is a crowd

Wolfie and Lulu had a good relationship until I brought Tiger into the picture. He disrupted the balance! But if you think about it, isn't this the case in so many human relationships? Don't they say three is a crowd?


But he was tiny and so cute (Look at the picture below)! I couldn't help myself! I spotted him in the middle of a very busy street... He stood still. Trusted me and let me pick him up, and I kept him.

Tiger my third cat

He eats everything, really fast, like a hoover, like my ex! He has the loudest purr you've ever heard. These vibrations have such a calming effect.


He's antisocial and he's afraid of large objects and loud noises. It's like he's suffered an early trauma in his life (maybe dumped in the middle of the busy street where I found him).

Tiger outside

He loves being outside, just like me. He never holds a grudge and is the first one to sit by my side when I come back from a trip... but he whines a lot! And I mean a lot... for no reason! Sometimes I feel my neighbours will think I'm doing something to him.


Lulu can't stand him. They don't get along and they fight on a daily basis! Wolfie is the middle ground. He'll sleep close to any of the two. He's ok until he isn't.


When they fight, it's always two against one. The one who's weakest in that moment is on his, or her own. Which I find odd. I'd run to help the weak one but in the animal kingdom, maybe it's the hunting and survival of the fittest instincts that kick in.

What is also interesting to see is how long they can sit still, watching, just being.


I learn so much by observing them. I've noticed that their fights - Tiger's whining, Lulu's itching, and Wolfie's angry outbursts - trigger me. I lose my centre, my presence and my patience.


During these moments, my Ego acts out. I just want them to stop doing whatever it is they're doing that's annoying me! It drives me crazy. And there’re times I'm aware, and others I realise it after the fact.


I believe they're here to show me how to be more accepting. Be ok with what is, instead of mindlessly arguing with their natural way of being. Remind me of my weaknesses. Remind me to be present. Help me connect with my deeper self and find a way to communicate better with them... with everyone.


When I do that, when I stop, breathe and become present and mindful, I can connect with them at a deeper level. With love and patience. They sense the peace and tune into it. It's amazing to watch it happen. Especially during my coaching sessions. They are my spiritual teachers and I'm grateful to have them in my life.


Cats are extraordinary teachers. They can teach you about yourself, about relationships and about life. All you have to do is watch them and ask yourself: “What can I learn from them now?”

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