Now that I’m stuck at home more, I’ve really started to find how grateful I am for the small things. But perhaps the thing I’m most thankful for is my cats. And I’m sure many of you feel the same.
What I find fascinating is that cats often get classified as aloof or unfriendly, but in reality they are my most stalwart companions, especially in times of crisis. Consider what your cat is doing right now. Is she sleeping? Playing? Where is she in relation to you? Right now one of my cats is watching birds out the window; another is napping nearby. But they are both in the room with me. We are sharing this moment, even if we’re not interacting.
If I relocate to another room, I guarantee at least one of my cats will follow eventually to check up on me. And throughout the day, I’ll check up on them. It’s our own little system of companionship, and it’s even more important during social distancing.
It’s tough being away from family and friends. We don’t have our usual touchstones to keep us grounded. But we do have our pets. And cats can be especially attuned to our emotions. Ever had a cat curl up in your lap and start purring when you’re having a bad day? There’s evidence he’s probably sensing your pain and trying to comfort you. In the wild, cats will use their presence and their purr to help heal colony members or litter mates. What your cat is saying is, “You’re my family, and I’m here for you.” And when I think of that, I’m just so, so grateful that these four-legged miracles have come into my life.
I also appreciate their shenanigans. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine, and any cat owner knows that cats are fully of silly quirks and behaviors. Just like dogs, cats chase their tails, get the zoomies, play aggressively with their toys, and demand love and affection. Personally, I love when a more reserved or shy cat gets playful. The joy on their face and the exuberance of their movements are hard to miss.
I always get out the wand toy when I want to make sure my cats will play. They love it! And watching them as they pounce, chase, and grab their prey always makes me smile. They’re probably getting more play time than usual right now because I need some extra smiles.
What about you? How do your cats make you smile?