Do cats teach us lessons? Sure.
“I will eat at this time.”
“My litter box must be in this spot.”
“I like toys of this type, very, very much.”
They do teach us lessons about themselves, but they also teach us lessons about ourselves, if we observe them in the light of their own daily lives which, if they are indoor-only cats, we pretty much control. It may sound like a joke that the cat totally sacked out in a cardboard box leads a rather stressful life, but it’s true. Their biology gives them a list of things to accomplish each day in order to stay healthy and alive. Despite the fact we provide for them and they don’t need to worry about finding their next meal, or avoiding being someone else’s next meal, they still need to manage their everyday life to satisfy what they feel they need with what we’ve given them to work with.
Ingrid’s book of essays looks at how cats accomplish these daily tasks and how we can learn from a cat’s methods, decisions and activities. The essays are organized into four categories: “Practical Purrs”, “Spiritual Purrs”, “Transformational Purrs”, and “Philosophical Purrs”.
The idea for the essays began years before as Sunday features on Ingrid’s blog, The Conscious Cat. Daily articles were typically focused on the more practical aspects of living with cats: health, nutrition, behavior and lifestyle. But focusing once a week on that which we unconsciously do each day with our cats in small, simple interactions and observations rounded out the reasons we live with cats and care for them as we do. The essays were immediately popular, and ranged from the benefits of stretching to decluttering your life, the importance of eating well, focusing on what you want and pursuing it, and taking time out just to be, and not do, all things we humans easily forget especially in the age of instant and constant communication with devices we carry everywhere. Do everything you need to do and do it well and with love, and carefully choose the things you do for fun, entertainment, relaxation and spiritual fulfillment. Don’t like this toy? Get rid of it.
And what happens with cats when they don’t follow this gentle guidance and manage to balance the conflicts in their lives? They are in various degrees irritable, cranky, distant, “fraidy”, bitey, finicky, they are easily overstimulated when they are touched, frightened of noises and strangers, they pee outside their litterbox, and their imbalance can actually cause physical issues and be the seat of chronic illnesses. It may sound like silly, fluffy stuff, but it’s really pretty serious, and not just for our cats. This will happen to us as well if we don’t balance our lives in a way that is healthy and fulfilling. You may know this and, if so, these essays will be an enjoyable reinforcement of what you already know. If not, you will find practical suggestions and guidance, and a new way of observing your feline.
I intentionally chose Ophelia to model with the book for this review rather than one of my confident and well-balanced regulars who typically model. Ophelia and her brother Hamlet were trapped as older feral kittens and had a very difficult socialization. In fact, after a couple of months of trying they had been considered unsocialized enough that they were placed in a transfer cage in a barn to live the life of outdoor cats. They were frightened there and also ended up losing that home before their acclimation period was over. My foster room had just opened up so I agreed to give them another try at this. It’s been interesting observing them as they slowly adjust to life indoors with humans, balancing what their socialization as outdoor cats taught them is dangerous in terms of confinement and interaction with humans with the life they now live. And beyond that, finding their own individual balances in this life as adults, rather than as kittens when this process would typically begin. They’ve been with me for a year, and have finally integrated with the household of felines, and me, and even visitors, though they still have their moments of fear and uncertainty. And that’s another lesson from our cats that’s in the book: life is a process, and takes the time it takes, but in the end, change is worth the effort.
About the book
As a disclosure, I was sent a copy of the book by the publisher to review. I read the book as a paperback, and it is also available for Kindle on Amazon.com.
Other Books by Ingrid King
I’ve reviewed Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, Adventures in Veterinary Medicine: What Working in Veterinary Hospitals Taught Me About Life, Love, and Myself, and Tortitude: The Big Book of Cats With a Big Attitude. Ingrid has also authored Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style. You can read more about them on her website, and they are all available on Ingrid’s author page on Amazon.com.
Ingrid King is also the author of The Conscious Cat, a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans. Ingrid lives in Northern Virginia with her tortoiseshell cats Allegra and Ruby. For more information about Ingrid, please visit www.ConsciousCat.com.
Read other reviews of books and other works.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
Do you appreciate the stories and images we offer you each day?
© 2016 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!