The Mindfulness of Cats

While becoming increasingly stressed about the vortex of expectations and obligations surrounding me at the moment, it struck me that cats are rather expert at the whole mindfulness business.

It’s not so much that cats are selfish, or unthinking – just that they don’t worry about things they don’t have to. I suppose they might not have the mental capacity to worry about anything except their next meal, or where might be the best spot to have a nap, but that ruins the whole analogy, so I’ll ignore it.

I guess all I’m really saying is that I need to take a leaf from our pet cat’s book, and care a little less about what might happen next. I often fall into the trap of preparing for anything, rather than preparing for the most likely outcome. It’s the reason I pack things in my bags when I travel that will never leave the bag. It’s also the reason I spent two hours this afternoon simulating some work I might be doing next week.

Getting back to cats, of course we only ever see the version of themselves they present to us, and anthropomorphise their behaviours to turn them in to walking teddybears full of wisdom, fun, and unbearable cuteness. Of course we all know the moment our backs are turned, they become sadistic, cold blooded murderers. Have you even seen a cat playing with amoth until it doesn’t work any more ? Have you heard a cat munching a garden spider in the dead of night? Have you arrived in the kitchen at 7am to discover the headless mouse, laid neatly in the middle of the kitchen floor? Have you come home from a day out to discover what might have once been a dove, expertly disassembled – Hannibal Lecter style – throughout the hallway, living room, and kitchen?

So maybe I’ll be selective in choosing the traits of cat behaviour I might wishto have.

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