Friday, May 3, 2013

5 Ways I Want to Be More Like My Cats

By Julia Williams

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see my cats basking in a sun puddle and think, “Why can’t I be a cat for just one day?” I would get caught up on my sleep, that’s for sure. I’d have zero stress because I would not stir all day long, except to follow that warm sun puddle when it moves. I wouldn’t worry about where my next meal is coming from or if it's going to taste good. Everything I could possibly need would be provided for me by my human servant. Which means, of course, that I wouldn’t have a care in the world…unless you count making sure the servant got out of bed when I said it was time for breakfast and not when the clock said.

Yes, my cats have a great life. And I admit … I am jealous! I want to experience catdom for myself because frankly, I don’t think my kitties appreciate just how good they have it! Being human, I know they have it good, and I want some of what they’re having. It seems only fair. But alas, all I can do is dream.

Here are 5 ways I want to be more like my cats:

1. Embrace every opportunity, even those that turn out differently than expected. 

Cats go with the flow, and they don’t get upset when things don’t happen the way they thought they would. They just adapt. Take Mickey, for example: he loves Cheetos, so I’ll share one with him occasionally. One day I left an open bag of Jalapeno Cheddar Cheetos on the couch while I went to get something from the kitchen. Now, if you’ve ever had those, you know they have quite a “kick.” He didn’t know; he stole one out of the bag, and ate the whole thing! Sure, it wasn’t the mild, cheesy Cheeto he was expecting, but Mickey didn’t let a little Jalapeno spice keep him from enjoying his stolen snack. (He did, however, drink a lot of water afterwards!).

2. Enjoy the simple things life offers.

Cats have a unique ability to find joy in everything, no matter how mundane it might seem. If it moves, chase it. That feather’s not a real bird? No problem! If a paper bag magically appears on the floor, turn it into a mancat cave/tactile toy. A cardboard box or a wicker basket is an open invitation for a nap. Pens become projectiles, magazines become chew toys, and every little thing lying around becomes something fun to play with.

3. Eat every meal with unbridled enthusiasm.

To say that my kitties enjoy their FELIDAE cat food immensely would be quite an understatement. Mealtime here turns into a three-ring circus; as I’m dishing out the food into their bowls on the counter, I have to dodge cats trying to trip me, remove cats from the counter and ignore the ear-splitting chorus of meows. Every day, twice a day without fail, my cats act like it’s been weeks not hours since their last meal. And when the bowls hit the floor, they gobble up the food faster than competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi in a hotdog eating contest.

4. Be persistent!

Whoever coined the term “dogged determination” has obviously never experienced the tenacity of a cat. At the very least, we need a companion term to describe the relentless way a cat will pursue something he wants. Case in point: nothing deters Rocky from trying to steal food off my plate when I eat in the living room while watching TV. He laughs at my sharp “NO!” and scoffs at the squirt bottle and the whistle (plus, just try to blow a whistle while you’re eating). Short of placing him in a room with the door shut, nothing stops him from trying every trick in the book to snag some of my food.

5. Accept imperfections.

Cats just don’t give a lick about personal appearances, and they certainly don’t strive for perfection. Flaws, it would seem, are things to be celebrated! Cats don’t care when their fur is sticking straight up or matted, when a dingleberry is dangling from their behind or when they accidentally tumble off their cat tree. They just carry on, never once wavering from the belief that they are fabulous just the way they are.

These are just five traits my cats have that I admire. There are a gazillion more, because cats rule and humans drool. What are some of the ways you would be more like cats if you could?

Top photo by Simone Tagliaferri
Bottom photo Takashi Hososhima

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. Well, I don't know about cats, but I would be willing to have Finn's life for a day. Go for walks, sniff fun stuff, chase around a tennis ball...tough life!

  2. Now that I am without a cat, temporarily (he passed away, with our help, a week before Christmas, age 19), I have reflected on some of what I learned from Radar.

    First and foremost: uncritical love and acceptance. Don't judge, just love one another.

    Second, and almost as important: find a sunny spot and relax a while. Often, while writing, editing video, posting things online, I'd look over to see Radar curled up in a sunny spot in the living room, and I'd get up, maybe give him a little loving stroke, or just be near him a while. In other words, unwind a bit.

    And third, following on from the first two: each day is precious, and what I wouldn't give now for just one more day with my little buddy. Just one more day!--but, he's gone.

    I miss him every day, and from that grief I have begun not only my blog about cats, but a documentary film project about our relationships with cats (see

  3. I think my favorite things is how cats just seem to live in the moment. Such a beautiful and stress-free way of being.

    Julia, we wanted to thank you for your thoughtful and comforting comments when it was time for Sammy to leave for the Bridge. We are so grateful for you, and for your continued friendship.

    Hugs, and much love to you.

    Kevin, Tracey and Moosey

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head! We can learn so much from our kitties .. and we should! It would probably cut down on prescription medication for a start! :)

  5. It should be mandatory that humans try those five and I will bet the world would be a better place. Such a terrific post!

  6. Our mom says in her next life, she wants to come back as a cat...owned by her, of course! She thinks we have the life! And y'know what, she's right!

  7. You mean I'm not already a cat? [insert heavy sigh of resignation...]

  8. Mum always tells me I have a great life and she wishes she was a cat too. I tell her that she was a cat in a past life. 'Well I want to be one in the next too,' she replies.


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