7 Things I’ve Learned From My CH Cats
One year ago today my life changed forever. It was the day we brought home Ellie.
She has been the perfect addition to our family in every way. The only word to describe her is love — and she is beyond loved. Each and every day I thank God for bringing her and CG into our lives. And it’s on days like today that I reflect on not only how much we love and appreciate these special needs cerebellar hypoplasia cats, but also how they have taught me so many things through the years.
While I know the list is far more extensive than this, here are a few life lessons they continue to press on my heart every day:
1. Embrace challenges. Basic life functions can be challenging to CH cats — but that doesn’t stop them. They may not be able to run across the floor efficiently, but eventually they either learn how to do it their own way or improve slightly. Jumping may not be an option for others, but then they learn to climb. They naturally come up with solutions for challenges that we may think are big deals for them. And I love that.
CH cats don’t focus on the challenges, rather they simply live their lives. They conquer difficulties all day long — without complaining or even realizing they’re difficulties. So the next time a challenge comes your way, try not to think of it as a something unfortunate, but rather an opportunity that may allow you to shine in a whole new way.
2. Your differences are what make you special. They also make accomplishments that much sweeter.
CG and Ellie’s underdeveloped cerebellums aren’t something to be pitied. Rather, it is that small difference that has made them into who they are: two incredible, inspiring cats. The world so often tells us that differences are ugly and undesirable. But they’re what make us, us. And that’s a beautiful thing.
3. Live in the now. Cats don’t focus on the past or worry about the future, rather they enjoy the moment. Everything they do has a purpose or is filled with joy. Every time they can watch a bird outside, it’s a new, exciting experience. Every time they burrow under a blanket is an adventure.
It’s a wonderful point of view, as we can often get wrapped up in the “mundane,” everyday tasks in our lives. But what if they weren’t mundane? What if we enjoyed each moment for what it is? Wouldn’t that be a life worth living?
4. Communicate. Cats are incredible animals as they have an extensive language that doesn’t even need to be spoken: body language. Throughout the day slight movements, positions and reactions inform those around them how they feel. Fortunately, my cats have also taken pity on me and often verbally convey their needs, too.
This is truly something I need to improve on in my daily life. Clear and consistent communication with everyone in our lives, family members, friends and co-workers, can get so complicated and muddled. But just speaking your mind kindly, can help prevent and resolve many issues.
5. Listen. As much as we need to communicate, it’s just as important — if not more — to learn how to listen. After all, communicating isn’t worth a darn if no one is listening. Many days have ended with me sharing my troubles with my cats. Granted my cats don’t understand me, but there’s comfort in knowing that they’re there and care. Just imagine the impact you can make on another person by listening.
6. Don’t hold grudges. I know this ties in to #3, but it’s just as important. When we first brought Ellie home, CG was confused by her wobbles. Every time she fell over, he reacted as if she was trying to attack him. But thankfully, he’d soon forget and move on — continuing to live in the now instead of dwelling on the past. If he hadn’t forgotten and forgiven, I can only imagine the discord that would exist in our home today.
So take a moment to think of the grudges you may be holding. What opportunities may have been lost because of them? Can you change your heart to prevent this in the future?
7. Love unconditionally.
Our cats have very different ways of showing love. Ellie loves all the time and any one (or thing!). CG is more selective with when he chooses to be affectionate with me, but that helps me appreciate his love in a different way. But no matter how they love, when they do, they do it with their whole heart and soul. There’s no holding back. And it’s absolutely beautiful.
No matter how you decide to show your love, the important thing is to do it. Showing everyone you encounter some sort of love, patience or kindness is tremendously important, and you’ll never know how one act of kindness can change a person’s life forever.
What have you learned from your CH cats? Please share in the comments!