It’s Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month!
I know—I tend to focus on dogs. That’s only because I have dogs—dogs who think cats are among the best toys ever. Really, I’m more interested in sharing how I practice mindfulness and how that impacts my relationship with my current pack. It’s healthier for me, and I assume them. A lot of it could just as easily apply to cats, too.
Cats inherently have a Zen-like quality about them. This one certainly did. How else could he tolerate the clumsy attempts at affection from a baby?
This wasn’t my kitty, but I did grow up with one starting in the second grade. We took in a freebie from a friend, which is how most cats join families – a sad fact when some 70% of cats in shelters are killed every year. So many purrfect (sorry, had to do it) mindfulness teachers lost. Because cats can be just as beneficial to a mindfulness practice as dogs.
For example, the other day, I had a meltdown while working. By the time I finally shut the computer off, I was shaky, sweaty, and itching for an argument.
To calm my nerves, I reached for my phone intending to listen to a guided meditation. Mid-reach, however, Rico dove under my hand. I petted him for a little bit and noticed how soft he felt. It felt good. My fingers disappeared into his thick, black coat. I squished the excess folds of his big neck up to his face – which he loves. He lazily looked up into my eyes and all but asked me, “What do you need technology for? I’m right here.”
I petted him for about 10 minutes. And during those glorious 10 minutes, all thoughts about the horrible day rolled out like an afternoon storm cloud. Afterward, I felt as refreshed as the evening earth after a good rain.
That kind of mindful petting could absolutely be practiced with a beloved cat…or a rabbit, hamster, or any other pet that enjoys physical affection.
So adopt a cat this month – if the dog allows it.