On Tuesday, October 16th, I lost one of my very best friends in the world...my cat, Cinder Lee.
Now, some will say, "He was just an animal-get over it!"
To these people I simply reply "Until you bond with an animal, and learn what they have to teach you, you will never, ever understand my grief. And perhaps you will also miss out on a critical part of your own humanity"
In the midst of all this sadness, however, I was able to see past the tragedy of the accident and reflect a little on the life lessons taught me by my "lovepuff."
Everything I Need to Know In Life I Learned From My Cat
...live simply and enjoy life more...
1. A belly full of food , a warm bed, and a loving someone to scratch those hard-to-get-to places... pretty much all you need to be happy.
..stop trying to be something you aren't...
2. Be who you are and don't let people try and change you. Good natured to the core, Cinder would indulge my daughter's attempts to dress him in tie-dye T-shirts and red bow ties, and our efforts to treat him like a little person.
However, he knew and understood that he was a CAT; a special and extraordinary cat no doubt, but a cat just the same.
He was happiest doing the things that cats do, enjoying the taste of a freshly-caught mouse, scratching up the trees outside, digging in the garden. He was who he was.. no more, no less.
Are you being honest with yourself and others and showing your true face to the world? If you aren't- you are likely never going to feel satisfied. Be who you are and thrive.
...take time for yourself
3. Life is demanding, it's true, but you must take time for YOU. In his position as "prince of the house" and nurturer to the strays that kept landing on the property, I am sure Cinder had a profound sense of duty. But, he also knew that every pride leader needs to take some time-to nap in the sun, to yawn, share a treat with your people, scratch a tree or two, or spend an hour grooming.
don't forget to spread some love around-every day...
4. We take nothing from this life except the love we have for others. Not a day went by that Cinder did not share his loving heart with our family. By rubbing his scent on us, "kneading" our clothes, giving little cat kissies, or doing his famous head butts, Cinder let us know that he loved us as much as we loved him.
As people, we often take the ones we love for granted, forgetting that none of us is granted even our next breath- it is a gift from God. Tell someone you love them every single day. You'll be surprised at how much your life begins to change.
no cat is an island ...
5. Be independent and self-sufficient and dependent and needy at the same time. Cinder had achieved, in his brief two years on this earth, what I think is the perfect balance between independence and recognizing the need for others.
Some people see independence or dependence as one or the other propositions. But, through Cinder I learned that it is OK to need and want to be with other people, while at the same time retaining a measure of independence and self-sufficiency. In fact, it is for that reason that we were created- to be light and warmth for others, to share burdens and lift weights off the shoulders of those bowed and broken.
I am not sure I have fully learned all of these lessons and the countless others that I learned from "Mr. Fluffytoes." But, he managed to plant them in my heart and their successful achievement is a worthy goal for me, something which helps me, hour by hour, overcome my sense of loss.
I am bereft, lost... in need of the balm of God's love, the love that sent Cinder into my life and the love that I am positive now envelopes and comforts him.
I know he is sitting right now beside the throne of the Almighty with a full belly and that little cat smile on his face. He understands all that was hidden from him before,every mystery is revealed, every ache and pain gone away, every bad memory erased by healing love.
Maybe he looks down at me now and says "Don't cry. I am waiting for you here. We have some head butts to catch up on."