10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Cat


There are just a lot of things that you can learn from a cat. After all, your feline companion is quite the expert when it comes to living a carefree life. If you need to make your life a bit different by enjoying a little more, look no further – there’s the cat!

Journalist and military aviation and defense expert Tom Demerly happens to be one of the many people who learned many things from their cats. Here, we share the list of things he learned about life just by interacting with his feline friends.

#1. Live in the present.

“Cats have smaller brains than us. So they worry less. I watch them enjoy a spot in the sun, good food, a nap. They live for what is happening. If they are having fun, they keep having fun until they are tired, then they lay down. If they are scared, they leave the environment to find someplace safer. Cats do not spend time worrying about their past or their future. Instead, they make their presence as good as possible and the rest sorts itself out. “

#2. Find amazement in simple things.

“I buy my cats toys. They ignore most of them. Their favorite toy is a length of orange parachute cord that was a leftover from something I was making. They’ve been playing with it for two years.”

#3. Be careful.

“My cats still take chances and have fun, but they understand how far they can jump and aren’t reckless.”

#4. There are no handicaps.

MiMi doesn’t know or care that Mia and I have two eyes and she only has one. She simply uses her one eye for everything, moves her head a little more to compensate for only having one, without even realizing it. She can do anything Mia and I can do, and she is the most loving and kind cat.

#5. If you want something, try to get it, but exercise reasonable caution.

MiMi learned food came from the refrigerator. So, she got in the refrigerator. That makes sense. The problem was I almost didn’t notice her and nearly shut the refrigerator door. It terrified me. I rearranged the food in the refrigerator so she couldn’t jump inside again and told her that wasn’t a good idea because she could accidentally get shut inside. I know (think?) cats don’t understand the complexity of that explanation and it is mostly for me. But since then, she hasn’t done it again.

#6. Rest.

Cats take frequent rests. I have never seen either of my cats tired. They know when to lay down and stop playing. They never get burned out from chasing their piece of string or watching birds outside the house. Cats know they aren’t effective if they are too tired so they make sure they get adequate rest and they make rest a priority.

[Still not convinced you should get a cat? Check out these 40 reasons to own a cat.]

#7. Seek first to understand.

“Before they do anything of significance, like walking across a room or chasing something, they study the area long enough to gain a reasonable understanding of it. Then they decide how they will respond.”

#8. Sometimes you have to stand your ground.

“A strange cat came onto the porch. This was a big event. Mia hissed and growled. MiMi’s tail seemed to get bushier and her fur stood up. There wasn’t a fight, but there was some hissing and low growling and everyone understood quickly they needed to respect each other.”

#9. Embrace good things.

“MiMi and Mia have a fake furry blanket that sits in the sun and gets warm. It may be their favorite thing. They sit together on it, roll around, fall asleep, lick each other and get brushed on their warm, fake fur blanket. If I pick it up to clean it they follow me around until I put it back, then they get right back on it to be sure it’s still OK.”

#10. Have respect for yourself and take good care of yourself.

“Mia is a very typical girly-girl. She gets her hair brushed every day and purrs the whole time. She never over eats and has a lean and healthy build. She loves to hold her bushy tail up in the air, especially when MiMi and I are looking at her, and move it just slightly to make it wave. She uses her beautiful eyes to get what she wants, and it always works. But, she has never taken advantage of it by asking for too much food or too many treats or too much brushing. MiMi is a tomboy and spends time sharpening her claws and likes to get brushed until she gets bored. MiMi and Mia spend time licking each other every day because they both know how beautiful they are and how important that is.”

What life lessons did your feline friend teach you? Share them in the comments section below!

This article originally appeared in What I’ve Learned From My Cats by Tom Demerly. If Demerly doesn’t write about all things related to military defense and aviation, he shares his adventures with cats.

Here’s the adorable MiMi the cat.

Photo: Tom Demerly

Read more from Tom Demerly here.

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