Archive for September 18th, 2008

How to live more like a cat

Posted on September 18, 2008. Filed under: HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

It has come to my attention that my lifestyle has changed radically in recent years. At one time, I LEFT HOME in the MORNING to go to this place called WORK! (I know; shocking, really!) This never really suited me because I’m a creature of the night! Of course, I could have worked the night shift, but my best thinking and creating and (formerly) partying time was at night, so I didn’t want to spend that time at WORK! (What a dilemma!)

There’s also the fact that my attention span does not last eight hours. Or seven. Maybe 2 1/2 on a good day, when I’m really interested. So, working in an office, for me at least, would start out well. I’ve always done a great interview; I’m smart, and personable, and can describe with great enthusiasm why I’d be an asset to a company. And it’s all true, too! But then, after a while, my enthusiasm wanes, my neurochemistry begins to taunt me, I stop paying attention, and my poor employer wonders what happened to me?!? After a few experiences like this, I finally figured out that I’d be better off with several “little” jobs, than one “big” one.

I also discovered that I work better on my own than with a “team” (as I think they’re called these days). Most of the administrative and creative work I do involves poking at this very computer I’m writing at now. I still have to go OUT for SOME of my money-earning type things, but I’m fortunate that I can do a lot of this in my home office. There’s never any one place I go more than two days in a row anymore, even during the busy times. (This does not include holidays, where I’ve been known to travel to, and actually stay at, a location for as many as four days!)  Don’t get me wrong; I’m no hermit. I lead two groups, and serve as a board member for two others, so I do get out and see people. With my schedule, though, I do get to spend 40-60% of my time in my own office.

So, what is cat-like about all this? Cats are among the most selfish creatures there are. In fact their most common utterance, “meow”, or, if they’re just little, “mew”, starts with, you guessed it: “Me”! But—and I think this is important—a cat’s selfishness is without ego. Ego is a human construct, and it’s possible to engage in spiritual practices to distance ourselves from our egos. I’m not altogether convinced that’s a desirable thing, but that’s a discussion for another time.

When I’m home, I feel selfish like a cat. My life is all about MeMeMe, and what I want to do or think. I know what I intend to do, but I don’t have “office hours” as such. I’ll roll out of bed most days, switch on the computer, and see what’s going on in there. (Emails! News! Blog Comments! Stats!) I answer personal and business emails; perhaps draft a report; count money; prepare a bank deposit…then, breakfast! After a couple of hours I’ll realize I’m still in my jammies (unlike a cat, who doesn’t have to worry about such things), and then spend some time grooming, and such, as a cat does, whenever the cat wants to. After that, I might update a website, plan a meeting, or get bored of working and read a novel! Or blog! I’ll do that for an hour or so, and then feel the need to move around. Exercise time! Sometimes I’ll take a nice walk around the neighborhood; other times I have my own exercise routine, which I won’t describe much, other than it involves jumping around a bit, stretching, and manipulating weighted objects—see, cat-like again!

After that, I’ll probably make whatever phone calls I feel compelled to, or file papers (ugh), until I begin to get sleepy. I might put on some mood music, or cricket soundtracks, and…you know what’s coming, don’t you?…take a CAT-nap.

Hey, stop snickering! Thomas Edison took catnaps! And Marie Curie! and Buzz Lightyear! (Do you think?)

I also like to sit in a window-seat and let my mind wander, or watch the birds, or have a little snooozzzzze… (oh, oops, sorry! I drifted off there for a bit) and we know how cats love to sit in the window.

Well, analogies can only go so far, so let me assure you I will NOT chase small animals or insects, catch them with my bare claws, and rip them to shreds with my teeth. In fact I’m not much of a carnivore, but, like many house cats, prefer simple food that someone else prepares (My favorite chef at the moment: Trader Joe’s). Also, I’m not a “love ’em and leave ’em” type, as are most cats, but…well…never mind!

There you have it. If you’re a day-dreamer, multi-tasker, diagnosed-ADD (for what that’s worth)-coper like me, you may enjoy a cat kind of life. ME-ow.

UPDATE, Friday: I just had to include this photo I saw today on (the source of the other one as well) as it was just SO appropriate to the post!:

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