My parents have a house at a village, not far from Athens, where we often go on the weekends. It’s a typical Greek village up on a hill with a nice sea view and, very common in Greece, lots of stray cats.
Our daughter, who loves to play with the cats that gather in the yard, has been asking to adopt a cat for quite some time now. After some serious thinking, my husband and I decided to get a kitten as a gift for our daughter’s birthday. We all agreed to get a stray and we started our search from the yard of the house at the village.
There is a little black and white kitten among the cats that visit our yard. The minute she “smells” we arrive she’s there. It’s obvious she wants food. And even though she doesn’t feel too at ease with humans she accepts some petting. When my daughter takes her in her arms you can hear her purring.
So we’ve decided to take her home with us. We bought her food, cat litter, toys and a cat carrier to bring her home. But first we needed to take her to the vet. And although she’d spent the whole afternoon in our yard, the next morning when we were supposed to get her to the vet she was nowhere to be found. It’s as if she had just disappeared. Literally disappeared. We did search for her but our efforts were to no avail. Of course my daughter was disappointed and sad as she had already imagined this sweet kitten as her roommate and expressed her emotions by crying.
We talked about it. It’s possible the cat decided she didn’t want to leave the countryside. This was her home after all. This is where she could wonder around and be free. We explained to my daughter that this didn’t mean the cat didn’t like or even love her. It only meant she decided to live where she was.
This may sound egoistic to some but in doing so the cat took care of her own needs first. Cause that’s how she’s happy. Cats love their well-being. It’s of utmost importance to them. They know what they want, what they like and what they don’t. They know who they want to be with and who they want to avoid. They know when and how to say “no.” And we, humans, cannot but respect their wishes.
Isn’t that what we all need to do for ourselves? Take care of our needs first? Because when we take care of ourselves we give and share easier. We take care of others easier.
This Holiday season offer yourself a special gift. Take this beautiful cat lesson and apply it to your everyday life. Don’t wait for others to do this for you. Like cats, take yourself by the hand and think how you can take care of yourself first. What is it that you like and what not? How do you want your life to be and what kind of people do you want around you? Remember the sweet black and white kitten who comes to be petted by my daughter but then she wants her peace and quiet.