1.) Every curtain has a silver lining (you just have to keep clawing until you find it). Is it true that every bad situation has a positive aspect to it? Maybe, maybe not, but what’s the harm in looking? Sometimes we can surprise ourselves with how we can turn something bad into something good. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If cats bring home dead mice, make… hmm… okay, some analogies just don’t work.
2.) Nine lives are better than one (it ain’t over ‘til it’s over). My cat Cessna survived a mauling by a raccoon, being shot in the head with a pellet gun, breaking a hind leg and having it amputated, and several near misses with cars, especially after she lost her hearing and became oblivious to approaching traffic. She overcame her obstacles, recovered from her losses, and kept on going. We can do the same. Like the famous Nietzsche quote, “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”
3.) Carpe diem! (Or as Cessna would have said, “Carpe carp.” Seize the fish!) Cats may have nine lives, but they only happen one day at a time. We need to make the best of each and every day. After Cessna’s leg was amputated, we tried to turn her into an inside cat and train her to wear a leash so she could spend time outside on the deck. She wanted nothing to do with that. She wriggled her way out of the leash and taught herself to get around quite handily on her three remaining legs. Once we conceded to let her roam outdoors again, she became a hunting fiend, bringing home species of rodents we’d never even seen before. She seemed to have a renewed determination to live life to its fullest. (It didn’t do much good for the rodents’ fullness of life, but such is the nature of nature.)
4.) Actions speak louder than purrs. My cat Thursday is quite temperamental. She’s pretty much a loner until she decides completely out of the blue that it’s time to be petted. Then she jumps into my lap and demands that I cease and desist anything I am trying to accomplish so that I can lavish her with attention. She starts purring and head-butting and all those other cute cat things designed to make me dote on her, and everything goes swimmingly until she abruptly decides she’s had enough. Then, mid-purr, she turns and takes a swipe at me with her paw or tries to nail me with a fang before leaping to the floor and darting away as if I’d poked her with a needle. I’ve learned to ignore the purring and instead watch for the tail-twitching, ear-flattening and narrowing eyes to determine when the petting session is coming to an end. It sometimes behooves us not to believe everything we hear.
5.) A bird in the paw is worth two in the bush. My current cats aren’t exactly the mightiest of hunters you’ll ever meet. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen Thursday stalking anything more exotic than a grasshopper. So maybe her saying would be, “cat food in the dish is worth two birds in the bush.” Nonetheless, she knows a good thing when she sees it, and is content with the certainty that I will feed her rather than holding out for the elusive sparrows that flit by the window. Which is not to say that we have to settle for what we’ve got and shouldn’t dream of better things. It’s just good to couch our dreams in reality.
So there’s your dose of feline philosophy for the day. Thursday thinks it’s time for a catnap. I’m purrfectly fine with that idea, too. However, I think I'll forego the spit bath.