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!)Β  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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18 Responses to “How to live more like a cat”

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Awesome! We ARE kindred spirits, me-thinks. Yes, naps are NOT just for kindergartners and cats anymore…

i want that sort of life!! is there a course in university for it? πŸ˜† now that i’ve starting the working life, i feel like the biggest bore on earth. i have absolutely no life! 😦

I’m soo jealous! That sounds like the best work schedule there could be! I’m stuck punching the clock at 8:30 and 5 each day, ugh! lol πŸ˜†

I hate cats!! but after reading post, I so want a life of a cat πŸ˜€ Though, as u have written, I am also not the “love ’em and leave ’em” at all. I wish had some work soon, to crib about that though ;)Ok..lemme not get started πŸ˜€

I always wanted to be a bird – I think an eagle would be great! πŸ™‚

I’ve never been diagnosed ADD, but I do daydream a lot and have a rather short attention span, especially when listening to lectures. This made a lot of my university classes difficult for me, unless there were discussions involved. Maybe that’s why I’m fascinated by interactive narrative — it’s more of a conversation than a lecture.

I have an office job, but it’s a very laid-back one that doesn’t require getting up too early, and getting all your work done is more important than putting in eight hours a day. Plus, since I work with such fascinating people, it’s one of my main excuses to socialise, leaving most evenings free for some quality alone time.

Anyway, just thinking out loud.

Meow/mew/mememe! Love it! But if any cats I’ve ever had are an indication, you need to move that nap up much earlier in the day and then have a few more. (Actually, the cats owned me and I was better for it.)

Oh, Muse. We seem quite similar when it comes to work. Other than my work does happen in the day time and I have to leave the house. But I pretty much take a job when I feel like it. Go in when I want, no schedule. Work as long or short as I want. (Usually short) As long as it gets done by the time I say it will, everyone is happy. And I always add on 2 days for that reason…hehehehe.

But I envy you for the nap you get during the day. That would be so nice.It sounds like you have made things work FOR you, and why not? Now that is clever thinking on your part.

Not having children, I can relate. I do things when I want, no schedules. It really is an unintended selfish lifestyle. I would have had at least four had I been able to! Such is life..

I admit I was a bit surprised to find out most of your work is done at home. I would not have guessed that one. It’s always nice to get a glimpse into peoples lives. And you are so very interesting. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Thanks, C! Power to the nappers! Yeah! πŸ˜€

Perhaps I should teach such a course, sulz! Looks like I’d have at least two students; you and Shane! (I’m not entirely sure you’d like the curriculum, or what I went throught to get this lifestlye, though.) πŸ˜›

Oh, poor Shane! But, it looks like you get to take time to travel and work with your brother sometimes, so that must break it up πŸ™‚ even if you lose sleep 😦 but you have that great trip coming up; now I’m jealous! πŸ˜€

Oh, do you Apar? πŸ™‚ I’m aware that not everyone shares my admiration for the furry little beasties. You do admit, though, that a lot of cats live a very nice (and selfish!) life. Still looking for work, then? Sorry that’s hard; I do hope it goes better for you!

Will, your prose certainly soars, so an eagle might be a good fit. I would beware of your talons, though! πŸ˜€

I suspect there are a lot of us running around undiagnosed; I was not diagnosed until well into adulthood, and it would have done me a world of good to have had that knowledge in school—I think! There is still the whole drug issue, though. Anyway, I don’t believe “diagnosis is destiny”, and some of the most creative people are “unusual” so that gives me solace, LOL.
So, it seems you find a nice balance in your working environment, Deirdra. It’s nice to know it can be done. I think offices are fine; just not my particular best environment. It’s splendid that you have such interesting co-workers. I’d expect that in a creative field such as yours, but it’s still good to know. As for daydreaming, I can just imagine you waking from a reverie and quickly jotting down some plot elements. It’s funny, I hardly ever play computer games in the daytime. There’s something about having the lights out that makes the interactivity you mentioned more intimate. Thanks for thinking over here; I appreciate it!

Thanks! Sometimes I do take more than one catnap a day, ella, but you are so right, cats have it all over us humanoids in that department! I’m glad your cats were good and helpful to their human! πŸ™‚ And also that you are still speaking to me even though I admit I mostly eat from Trader Joe’s. πŸ˜•

Clever of you, BD, to add on those two days to keep it all doable. I dislike working under pressure…except occasionally it can be quite stimulating. I surely would not want a steady diet of it! Oh, I knew you didn’t have children, but didn’t know you had wanted to. 😦 Yep, that would certainly channel ones energies in a new way. I guess one could nap when the kids do? But, that’s also a good time to get other things done. I don’t have children, either, but I was always fine with that. There’s always something new to learn about our friends, isn’t there? πŸ™‚ Thank you much.

I like cats. We used to have two (very elderly) cats.

I think everyone would like to live like a cat if they could get away with it!

Seems like jealousy is the mood of the day; count me in! But truth be told I have a hard enough time making my own life work so what’s the point of being envious of yours? I wouldn’t know what to do with it!

I understand the cat thing though. There are 7 cats in this house who are kind enough to let us live here as long as my wife and I feed them regularly.

Peace to all.

You have your own home office? that’s so cool. I hope one day I can have my own too. That’s one of me goals… one day, one day.

I love cats; I have two, and they have such a good life. Come to think of it, I guess what some people say it’s true: “dogs have masters, cats have staff.”


Hey there, Muse!
I am basically a home-body. I would love to work from home. But, I do love my job as an elementary school librarian. The nice thing is that most days I am home by 3:30 in the afternoon, prime time for nap taking, at least for me. So, twenty minutes drooling on my pillow and I’m ready for the rest of my evening.

Fun post!

I guess I am one too! My attention apsn is like that LOL! Now how are you?

Me, too, B0bby! I guess it’s a matter of priorities. If we want a cat-like life enough, we may put a lot of energy into getting there, you think?

I think jealousy is a wonderful emotion, Eric, particularly that first flash of it. It puts us so in touch with what we want, because if we’re jealous of another it ignites a strong desire in us. The emotion can, in some, quickly deteriorate into something not so helpful though, so it’s tricky. And yes, I would not wish my life on you! It just occurred to me that mine is probably somewhat unusual in some ways. Wow 7 cats! You two must be kept busy attending to them. I’ve never had more than 2 at a time, and don’t actually have any at the moment. 😦

Well, one only needs to start out with a table, a computer, and a filing cabinet, Juan. Having a dedicated room is a luxury. I like that, because it puts me into a certain mind state to work—which I can easily get out of by leaving the room. πŸ˜› I think cats are a wonderful life example (except for shredding small animals, ick.) πŸ™‚

Hey, tee! Well, you have a great job, and get home at a reasonable hour. And you take naps then? That’s great! It usually takes me a couple of hours to wind down if I’ve been out, and that cuts into my nap time. πŸ˜›

So, you’re another with cat-like attention, kaylee! πŸ™‚ I am well—having a busy weekend (and I have to go OUT, too!) but really good, thanks!!!

“Well, one only needs to start out with a table, a computer, and a filing cabinet, Juan.”

Yes, and I do have that, but in my bedroom; having a separate room, of course, would be ideal.

The good about having my office in my room, is that if I’m too tired, I just walk a few steps and I can just throw myself in bed. The bad, well… is the same. I mean, when I’m working, I sometimes get distracted and I hear the bed saying “come, it’s comfy in here…” πŸ˜€

That’s too funny, Juan! πŸ™‚ I, too, have heard the call of the bed, even from the other room (they’re not too far apart). That’s when it’s time for a CATnap, of course. Then, I can stay up late, as I like to. I wish you luck with your separate room acquisition project! πŸ˜€

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