#1. The importance of play!
Playing is an essential part of childhood. Play helps our children learn and grow and perhaps most importantly; play brings children joy.
Having a friendly and furry feline that is full of surprises will remind your little one to stop, drop and play! Who doesn’t love an impromptu batting session with your shoelaces as you are trying to leave?
#2. Catnaps are delicious and essential for health and happiness.
Seeing your pretty kitty curled up and “oh so snug” is a very inviting scene. Cats tend to take a time-out for a delectable nap several times a day totaling up to eighteen hours of sleep time.
Of course we do not want little Johnny or Suzy snoozing away their life, however a nap does everyone in the home good!
#3. Cleanliness and grooming, yes please!
Your best feline friend will not be shy about showing you his or her grooming habits and they are plentiful! Mr. or Mrs. Kitty spends ample time grooming per day.
Often times the act of this will prompt your children to ask their favorite question – why?? This is a prime time to perhaps (again) discuss the importance of clean hair, clean teeth and clean bodies!
#4. Seek the sun!
Have you ever noticed how Fluffy chooses his resting spots in places that direct sunlight is exposed? Vitamin D is a very important nutrient for our babies.
In today’s day and age of digital media and technology, we all could use a little extra Vitamin D. Lets band together and demand more outside time for our children. It is good for the soul and good for the body!
#5. Be yourself
It is more than acceptable to be exactly who are – there is no need in this life, or any other, to pretend to be anything other than who and what we are!
Cat owners worldwide can attest to the fact that cats walk to the beat of their own drum. Kitty kitty does not wear any masks or make any attempt ever – to change who they are or filter their personality.
Cats show us, all of us, that it is our birthright to walk around exactly as we are with no fear or shame. This is a priceless lesson for our children if there ever was one!
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#6. Show gratitude and appreciation for those that take care of you and love you!
Have you ever noticed that whomever the designated “feeder” of the house is seems to receive more purrs, leg rubs, licks and any other common “love” signs from kitty?
I am an avid cat owner and designated feeder and litter girl at my house and that dirty job comes with perks in the payment of kitty love. Priceless! Cats have a grateful heart, and instilling an attitude of gratitude in our children is invaluable.
#7. The art of coexisting.
I will admit the title of #7 just sounds kind of blah… however, it certainly is not! Cats that are housed with other animals and even other cats tend to accept the presence of strangers. Perhaps not initially but generally the kitty cat adjusts and makes his or her peace with the surroundings.
Your children are going to be in countless social settings and the like throughout their entire life. It is true that they are not going to like everyone they encounter and vice versa. This is a fact of life. Children who are able to grow understand this lesson early on will be well-adjusted and virtually drama-free.
#8. Be vocal!
Cats have no problem with persistent meowing for any number of reasons, purring, growling and hissing.
The moral of this story is that Chester the Cat shows and tells children that it is okay to use their voice – do not be afraid and always speak your truth. Again we have an immeasurable lesson straight from the mouths of frisky felines.
One word – Grief. This short word affects all of us in many different ways and in many different forms throughout our lives. While it is heartbreaking and scary as parents to watch our children go through the process of grief – it is also paramount that they are taught by us healthy ways in which to grieve.
When our cat passes on, gets lost or runs away or gets sick, this is an opportunity to show our children how to and encourage our children to grieve. In this case the cat is merely the catalyst – it is up to us as their heroes to lead the way and light the path.
On a lighter note, lesson # 10 – Sometimes the best friend you can have is silent and the best friend you can be is silent.
Freddy the cat can not come up with solutions to our woes, but Freddy the Cat can listen and just be. So much of friendship is just simply about truly being there. We do not always have to have answers when our friends are going through the darkness. We just need to be there with a listening ear and a free hug.
I thank all of the numerous fuzzy feline beauties that I have throughout my life for teaching me all of these lessons and so much more!
Flaxington, B. (n.d.). The Things Cats Teach Us. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/understand-other-people/201410/the-things-cats-teach-us
Sutton, R. (n.d.). The Happiest Facts On Earth. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from https://www.phactual.com/the-happiest-facts-on-earth/
Jocson-Mendoza, M. (2014). 10 Things Cats Teach Us. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from http://thoughtcatalog.com/marijo-jocson-mendoza/2014/08/10-things-cats-teach-us/