So here I am writing a month of blogs and so far they have been cat themed – I am testing and trying out ideas for a new book – ideas for content, for tone, and inspiration…
Three years ago I set myself a blog challenge – to write a Love Letter to Life every day of that romantic month. I completed that challenge and my first book Peachey Letters was born. So that was a whole month of Love Letters – to many and varied aspects in my life. This time, I have only one preoccupation and that is a feline one. Just what can cats teach we humans about Love, Life and Litter? And so the calendar has wound round again to the 14th of February – Valentines Day, so here I am, once again, writing about love.
When it comes to cats and love, like everything else, they pretty much have the whole issue sewn up.
So how do cats do love? I guess the very first object of love is the mother and just like humans they are dependent upon a female adult to nourish them and start to teach them life’s lessons. Mother is the source of food and a warm furry belly to cuddle up to and fall asleep securely within those paw walls.
But the first real lesson in love we can divine is how a cat loves itself. Cats have an innate sense of contentment and care in just about every movement and moment of their lives. They are born with self assurance, which is nurtured by their mother, and reinforced by their fellow kittens. See how, from the earliest age a kitten takes care of itself – taking the utmost pleasure in licking, nipping and grooming its’ coat. Witness their closed eyes and concentrated demeanour and feel their satisfaction at a job well done, and their smuggery at being so beautiful.
To see a kitten or cat of any size, who is feeling secure and happy, at rest, is to witness a complete ease with their own body, and the soft sensual delight of stretching and curling in to endless tangles and poses that belie complete contentment.
Cats love their bodies, they enjoy their bodies, they take care of their bodies.
Whereas in a cat you will see a constant pleasure in the physical, with me it is a love hate thing. I glance in the mirror and see both good and bad. I see fat and I see ageing. Sometimes I see ugly looking back and me, and often I will see beautiful. And whilst I do not have the constant uncritical contentment in my body that a cat does, I do like to take care of this earthly temple that holds my soul. I exercise, I eat well, I rest, I prioritise my self care. In this way I really do think cat. Well… sometimes… sometimes I’m a couch potato, sometimes I eat wrongly or too much, but in being the head of the Pride I get to have more choice, I get to try and to push the boundaries, in all areas of my life; whereas my cats take a more tried and tested route – simple self love and contentment. In truth I am love with the blissful ease of simplicity, yet often I over complicate so many things in my life. There is, most definitely, a lesson in that…
So moving on from self love, why and how do cats give love? Now, much as I am a misty eyed lover of my moggies, I am also a realist. I know it all starts with cupboard love. I know that as the purveyor and opener of tins, pouches and packets, I hold the power. But I am not the only one who feeds the Peachey Pride. Whom so ever in that hungry moment feeds them, has their undivided and ravenous attention… And has, for those few gobbling minutes, their gratitude.
Then they’ve eaten and then they move on…
I, perhaps in a romanticised, self important way, like to think that food is just the starting point and that they also love to give and receive love and affection and in fact, demand it from me.
All my cats want to be stroked, petted and fussed, and they leave you in no doubt about what they want from you. You get head butted, kneaded, mewed at, stamped on and nudged. They want affection and are delighted to receive it, showing their pleasure as purrs – the ultimate expression of cat happiness.
As I have grown in age and wisdom I have got so much better at asking for what I want in love, yet always I can do more, think more cat…
I am not so blind as to think that I am the only human my cats will exchange such loving energy with. But it is from me that they demand the most affection, and in the happy repetition of giving and receiving of it, we form a bond, it strengthens our ties – and that is all part and parcel of how to love well.
As humans, I know that we have different ways of expressing, of giving and receiving love, and only some are about touch and affection. As various as we two legged creatures are, there are different bonds that brings us together; there are different acts of love, and not just the obvious Valentine ones of roses, cards and chocolates. So, to love well, observe what gives pleasure and feedback and give those back, as your acts of love.
All of my cats love differently, all in their characteristic ways and they show me how to best love them – to be scratched just there – ah bliss! To be offered up a soft trusting belly to tickle, to be allowed onto a lap and also, at times to leave them alone, to let them have their own space, so that all in good order, there can be loving shared space.
I am getting better at asking for how I want to be loved. Just like my cats, I gravitate more naturally and spend time with those who see me and love me for who I am and who, in return show me that I am respected, liked and / or loved, in what ever context I will conjoin with them in.
Now in this regard, I am most definitely and most lovingly, thinking cat…
♥ Happy Valentines Day, to all two legged and four legged creatures, every where ♥
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)…