Much Can Be Learned About People Via Cats: Lessons from my cat Henry (post1)

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If you’re someone like me, you’ve probably enjoyed and hated a thing or two about cats.  Many argue that they don’t serve any particular purpose like dogs can.  Certainly cats do not offer the same kind of companionship and loyalty that dogs do, but the first thing I’ve learned upon adopting this little guy is that if you were to fit someone’s desired mold or criteria, your potential to bless the life’s of others may never be realized.

I have always had a bit of a soft side for cats, mainly because I found the attention that a dog demands of you to be suffocating, and that kind of bond with a pet gave me more stress than it did fulfillment.  However, growing up it always seemed like people just associated the opposite in terms of bonding with cats.  Jokes and all manner of banter in conversation led me to believe that cats just didn’t care much about you, and because of that your level of engagement with them just wasn’t all that worthwhile.  Recently though, my wife and I have been set on a rather amazing journey as we have adopted a little orange tabby named Henry.

My wife and I were very motivated to not just have Henry in our home, but to really understand him so we could care for him properly.  We both were surprised to find after studying quite a bit and trying out some of the things we learned, we became acquainted with a creature that very much wanted to interact with us.  Henry was excited to be with us and enjoyed our company.  He reciprocated affection and looked for ways to please us.  Long story short, we saw many behaviors that we definitely weren’t expecting in the best way.  The experience has really begged answers to a good sum of questions.  Those questions cleared up quite a bit as we began to liken Henry and his needs to those of human beings.  This has given us a wonderful subject matter to explore and has certainly been enriching our own lives.  It’s a bit of a hypothesis if you will, “Can we learn more about our own needs as human beings through understanding the needs of cats and animals in general?”

I suppose this really clicked for me as I sort of applied it to myself.  I’m more introverted and not very energetic, so I approach things very opportunistically in order to not exhaust myself and still be able to enjoy things that people with more energy would normally do.  Because of this I have a rather chill personality and it’s pretty easy for me to get overwhelmed by my surroundings and then really stressed for the next while.  Because I’m rather chill and not that energetic people sometimes wonder if I do much of anything, which has sometimes left me to deal with some less than constructive judgments and criticisms.  Even got fired from a job once because the way I needed to approach things was quite undesirable to my supervisor.

Reflecting on these things didn’t differ much from the things I was learning about Henry.  I could suddenly relate to him rather well and much of what he did didn’t really seem that mysterious.  No, I’m not saying Henry is exactly like me, but what I have learned from learning about him has certainly helped strengthen my self-worth and has really been a springboard for helping me learn how to better identify and embrace the worth in others.   It has helped brighten my perspective on life which has resulted in an increase of love for myself and others, a virtue that I believe all of us could do with a little more of.

Long story short, Henry has been teaching me how to love more, which in turn is helping my love the people in my life more, which has definitely been enriching my life and bringing a little more happiness into it.  With future posts I will continue elaborating on the logistics and details of how that has actually happened, so I certainly hope you check back for updates.

Thank you for reading, Jordan Dunford (weRDunfo)

If you just think Henry is cute you’re more than welcome to check out my Instagram, I will soon shower the internet with his adorableness in hopes that it can brighten people’s day whenever they need it.


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