Lessons I’ve Learned from my Cat


Ok, so this is an odd blog title, even for me. I’m not a crazy cat lady. But as I sit here in my home by the water on a beautiful, glistening Seattle day, with all sorts of happy life passing by the front of my condo along the water, I feel a sense of peace and awareness of the sweetness in life. I spend my weekdays helping people; whether it’s career coaching, changing organizations through action learning, or delivering employee development opportunities. My worklife is about helping others achieve their dreams. This requires listening, thinking externally, giving. It’s rare that I take time to think for me.

So, as I sit here at my computer, my lovely large (19 lb) gold tabby jumps onto my lap, demanding my attention. And it dawns on me how clever he is about expressing himself. If he wants attention, he jumps in my lap. If he wants to go out, he’ll go to the door and meow loudly. If he’s hungry (when isn’t he?) he’ll go to the food container and meow even more loudly. The lesson? If you want something, ask for it. In his case, it usually works. He knows how to relax too, don’t all cats? He’ll always find that square of sunshine on the floor and take a nap in it. Or chase the random fly that gets in the house. Yes, this cat knows what he wants and he gets it!

But, as quick as he is to ask for what he wants, he’s even quicker to give. When I come home at night, he’s there to great me. When I awake in the morning, he’s by my door. When I’m feeling badly, he’s by my side….always. I had surgery a few years ago, and even though he’s not a lap cat, he HAD to lay on the location of the surgery. He knew I needed care and gave it freely. He’s not unusual really. I read an article today about a cat in an assisted living facility who, while not friendly, will identify those patients at the end of their lives, and he will stay in their room until they’ve passed, just being there nearby.

So, what have I learned? I’ve learned to ask for what I want. To do otherwise merely guarantees you won’t get it. I’ve learned to love unconditionally. I’ve learned to provide aid and support when needed. (I’m still working on accepting aid and support) And, I’ve learned to enjoy that square of sunshine! Yes, on a beautifully warm sunny Seattle September day, I’ll string up my hammock on the side deck and take a nap in the sun! That reminds me now….perfect time for a cat nap.

Take care, be good to yourselves, and ask for what you want. The results might amaze you!


About Andrea Cole

Four years ago, I followed my dreams and my heart by quitting my job, selling my home, and moving myself back to Seattle from Washington, DC. I didn't know how things would turn out, but I knew whatever life held in store for me, it was going to be in Seattle. And what a ride it has been! I now help others live their lives through rewarding career and meaningful retirement coaching. My website is www.colecoach.com
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