When I proposed the idea of an article about my cat giving me life lessons to my editor, which I thought was a stretch; I thought to myself, “No way, this is getting approved, what could a cat possibly teach you?”
My cat, Mio, certainly can’t teach me how to turn around this article on time. Unlike our need to derive meaning and place importance on every spoken word, his world is free of futile meaning-making. His life is a series of uncomplicated meows.
If you’re in luck, you might end up deciphering what each ‘meow, meow’ stands for and would be rewarded with affirmations in the form of him rubbing his head on your leg and if your attempt fails brace yourself for some aggressive biting.
I often think to myself; could human communication also be this uncomplicated? What would it be like if I were to randomly go around biting people to show my disapproval? Cause I think it might help. Especially at the end of a long work day.
As I ponder over what this over-energetic and playful cat has taught me in the near year that he’s been in my life. I think the most important lesson has been – sleep. Whenever you like, whatever spot you find, and for however long you like.
Cats don’t worry their intelligent minds about things like capitalism or the possibility of a world war or perhaps where the next meal is coming from. Or do they?
On most days I think my cat thinks the world revolves around him. And it sure does, he definitely has that main character energy. As it rubs off on me; my friend says in jest, “You are the writer, producer, director, screenwriter, narrator, villain, and even the main character of your life. No wonder every 5 minutes you want a spotlight on you.” In a bout of inspiration, I end up naming my private account ‘maincharacterenergyalways’.
Interestingly, in the same month as this conversation, a boy I was seeing for two weeks says to me, “You make everything about yourself,”
Is my cat to blame or my self-worth? Perhaps, I did make it about myself. Which isn’t often the norm. And it felt pretty good, to be honest.
I haven’t stalked Genki Kawamura enough to know this, but I like to believe that he lived with and loved cats for decades before writing If Cats Disappeared From the World. Because how else could one possibly describe what having a cat is like better than this:
“Cats and humans have been partners for over ten thousand years. And what you realize when you’ve lived with a cat for a long time is that we may think we own them, but that’s not the way it is. They simply allow us the pleasure of their company.”
While a cat is a purr-fect companion (you can’t just write an article on a cat without a good cat pun) they don’t let you overstay your welcome. For one, Mio is quick to snap back when bored of your company and even quicker to bite and scratch you when he wants to play. He is certain of what he wants and he isn’t afraid to express it in his own cat ways. I end up thinking, can I ever be like that? Could I demand things I hope for without feeling needy? Perhaps. Someday.
For now, I am a work in progress, with Mio leading the way.
Follow more of star cat Mio’s antics here.
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