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2016 was a difficult year at our house. We lost both a human family member and a beloved cat friend. And I was deeply affected (and traumatized) by the election. But if I was traumatized by the election, my cats were, too. After all, our cats pick up on our thoughts, and when we’re upset, they’re upset, too.
So as I’m looking forward to a new year and a fresh start, I’m thinking about my cats. My resolutions are all about them this year and their mental health. Picking up on each other’s emotions goes two ways. If they’re happy, I’m happy.
New Years Resolutions For The Cats
I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution I kept, but I intend to keep my resolutions this year. After all, the cats are my family, and I want to do these things for them.
- I’ll check my emotions at the door. It’s not their fault that my candidate lost or that an impatient driver blasted his horn at me because I didn’t take off at full speed the instant the traffic light turned from red to green. In 2017, I’ll leave my frustration with the world outside and enjoy the peace and calm that comes with sharing space with cats when I’m inside. When I’m calm, they’re calm and happy.
- We’ll reestablish our rituals. My cats love to walk with me at night, and we’re going to start doing that again. Every night. No matter what the weather is like. Our walks boost my spirits and doing something together as a family boosts theirs.
- I’ll be more patient with them. Yes, it’s annoying when Boots tries to bury the food that costs well over $1 a can and Soda insists on sitting on the counter while I’m trying to putting food in dishes. But I know I do things that annoy them, too, and they don’t tell me to “Stop!” or “Get Down!” There’s a reason why they do what they do, and I need to remind myself of that and work around them. They work around me. I can do the same for them.
- I’ll be more patient with the technology that seems to rule our lives. It’s not their fault that I can’t find what I’m looking for on a Web page or that Google can’t figure out what I’m searching for and return helpful results. And when I hurl nasty words at my laptop, they have no idea whether I’m angry with my computer or with them. So when I’m frustrated with all the “devices” I own, as I often am, I’ll take a deep breath or count to 10, or even better, take a break and pet a cat. Then, we’ll all be calm, and in the meantime, maybe the offending computer, iPad or phone will figure things out for itself.
- My schedule won’t become their schedule. Their dinner shouldn’t be late just because I’m deep into a writing project. Taking a break to fix their food at the right time will be as good for me as it is for them.
I’ve been writing and writing, and now it’s way past the cats’ dinnertime. Muffitt is standing on my lap with her fluffy tail in my face. Sizzle is lying on my feet. And Soda and Boots are sitting beside my desk watching me and looking grouchy. They could care less about my blog. They just want to eat. So that’s what we’ll do. And tomorrow night, technology willing, I’ll stop work a couple of hours earlier so we can get the year off to a good start by having dinner on time. But first, we’ll go for a walk. I’m looking forward to that.
Happy New Year to all of our friends. My cats and I hope 2017 will be a very good year for all of you.
We love this 2017 Gary