My Cats Are Buddhists

July 14, 2008 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

Years ago, when I went through my divorce, a friend gave me a mug as a joke. It reads, “The More I Know About Men, The More I Love My Cat.”

Well, it truly was a joke, because I don’t dislike men at all. I prefer to think of it more as saying, “The More I Know About People, The More I Love My Cats.” There’s a big difference.

This morning, while I was enjoying my ritual cup of coffee out of that mug, I got to thinking about cats and how they seem so much more in touch with their spiritual side than most of us humans. (And, yes, I do think animals have a kind of spirit.)

For example, if you think about it, cats practice Zen. They are totally in the present moment, no matter what they are doing. When I scratch one of my cats’ ears or rub his tummy, he purrs and is aware of it completely. You can tell that it’s the only thing in his consciousness at that moment. I am not saying that cats are too feeble minded to think, I’m saying that they effortlessly accept and enjoy each moment as it comes.

When you see a cat, lying contentedly in the sun, they are completely there. They aren’t thinking of the day you forgot to give them fresh water before you left for work and made them drink the same, stale water left over from the night before, they are just enjoying the moment.

That brings up another point, cats (at least my cats, anyway) don’t hold grudges and don’t have hidden agendas. If they have always been treated with love and respect, chances are, they’ll treat others only with love and respect. They’ve gotten a totally undeserved reputation for being sneaky and mysterious, but anyone who has known and loved a cat knows that they are just self-assured and not needy.

They love attention and affection, but don’t have to have it at every possible moment in order to be content. They are also satisfied with just lying in the sun too. Cats are not sneaky, they just don’t play the silly games we expect of them, so many people don’t understand them.

Ok, so I’m simplifying a bit. But the point is that most of the humans I know (including me) could stand to be a little more like cats. We would certainly benefit from living more in the present moment, instead of worrying about the future or agonizing over the past. We should be more able to define ourselves on our own terms instead of using our job, our relationships or our possessions to define us. We should be more able to live without grudges and hidden agendas. We should be able to give love more unconditionally.

So, back to the silly mug. It doesn’t say that I like people any less, it only says that I love my cats all the more when compared to them. They make me appreciate their simplicity of purpose. And I see the opportunity to grow spiritually by trying to follow some of their examples.

These are just some thoughts that came to me while drinking my morning coffee. I hope they give you a moment of pause to consider this concept. And I’d love it if you would leave me a comment to tell me your thoughts about this.



Entry filed under: General Interest. Tags: , , , .

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