What Cats Teach Us About Life: Self Care is a Necessity, not a Luxury

George in Blankie

I’m working away today at my sofa cum office, and as always my cat, faithful friend and ‘colleague’ George is with me.

Well actually he is curled up on a gorgeous furry throw that I festoon my sofa (cum office) with. It keeps out any winter chill, is comfy to snooze under, and is just a coddling comfort of a cover when I feel like I want a little sweet softness in my life.

And it may be a ‘throw’ to you, yet to me it is my ‘blankie’, and I love, love, love it!  My blankie is a caress of comfort enveloping me, making the corporeal me less real.  It is softness defined into a loving square of comfort and joy, of pride and possession, my very own selfish delight, wrapping and binding me as a gift. When it is draped and shaped around me, I become a cosseted new me, yielding and melting and slowed…

That is, when I get a look in. If I do not rigorously fold it up and put it away after use, it immediately gets pounced upon and claimed. All the cats adore it, but George as always thinks that he has first dibs… In fact just this morning, I stood up and walked away from my sofa / office for a few minutes and let my lonesome blankie drop to the floor. I returned to find George somehow curled up on, and entangled in it, and so I vainly tugged at it to find a free corner that I could at least cover my cold toes with…

When I’m away, my house mate unfolds the blankie and lays it on the sofa so the cats can pick up my scent and find some comfort during my absence. They all knead and purr and pour over it.

Not that cats really need a blankie to find comfort. Cats are in fact true artisans when it comes to the practice of self love. They practice comfort and joy continually and naturally; where as, I, who claims to be head of the Pride, has to constantly engineer it and plan for it and partake of it, unnaturally…

So what is ‘self love’?  It is in thought about loving yourself; and in deed about taking care of yourself – and no, not we are not talking about the rude connotation that may just be running through your mind, right about now… I’m talking about ensuring that you have enough comfort and joy in your life, to sustain your life. That you think kind thoughts of yourself and give that same self ‘time out’ and treats. That you take time to slow down and to sleep enough and to do the things which make you truly happy – not run around giving yourself away and getting completely exhausted in the process.

Self love here can be reading a chapter of a gorgeous book, through to the ubiquitous spa break – it doesn’t have to have a budget and should certainly know no boundaries.

I’ve just lifted my eyes away from my words for a few seconds and I can see my cats in view, and all are sleeping, (George is next to me, Sophia is draped over the arm of our shared sofa and Taz is cutely snoring on the other sofa), they all look so comfortable and happy. And no one gave them permission to do that, it is natural to them, it sustains them, it gives them pleasure to share their slumbers and the company of all members of the Pride.

Cats have mastered the craft of relaxation and I really could do with learning a little more from them about prioritising it in my own life.  The truth is that comfort is something I truly adore, yet I find that I frequently eschew it, when I should be ardently pursuing it.

If I think more ‘Cat’ then I need to expand my (self) loving horizons, to build self love and comfort into the fabric of my every day life, rather than as a rare, planned for treat.

Now your idea of self love may be different, but mine is a long loving variety of different delights, starting with a hot drink, a glass of wine, a chunk of chocolate … the kiss of loving, warming food.  Comfort food … mmmmmmmm …  A comfort of sausage and mash wrapped in a gravy of oniony flavour; or of pure cold ice cream caressing the tongue and the throat, melting into sensory pleasure.

Now, love is my birth right and self love should be my practice, so how should I do more of this?  Simply or in a spa?  I’m placing self love firmly in the fabric of my being, not something sought after when I am sore or tired or lost. It is time for more self care to create those gorgeous moments of heart’s ease; all those single eternities of forgetfulness for everything except a delicious, comforting now.

Self love can be and mean so many things – is in fact a thousand things or it could be a single thing.  One thing is for sure and that it is all about me (or you). Its’ nature is various and it is simple.  It is common and it is golden.  It can be resting my head on a cat’s purring body, paddling in the sea, listening to beautiful music: lifting me up, laying me down, flattening out the undulations and tribulations of a life long lived. Self love is what ever fills me up, and fills my senses with nonsensical, whimsical contentment.  It is time to give myself more – be that relaxation, slow tempo, warmth or coolness, or stillness.

Hummmm, how delicious… That is a whole lot of loving to be and do; and yes, of course – if I am slow or sleeping or awake or leaping, you can take for granted, that the Peachey Pride will all be there, showing me their own smug Self Loving way…

PS: Did you know that a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, cats and all?  I’m completely biased of course, but it makes a purrfect present, for you or the cat lover in your life… You can buy it from book websites any where in the world, including Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

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