Every morning, I observe our two fur-kids, Sicily (the dog) and Catalina (the cat) and it never ceases to amaze me how little I must do for them but how much they do for us. Even our previous pets, Lesko (the dog) and Primeau (the cat), also taught us more than I’d ever imagined. But don’t worry, I’ll narrow it down to two lessons.
My pets never judge me. NEVER. I could have had a hard day at the office, come home, fix myself a a bowl of chocolate ice cream and a glass (or two) of wine and forget to feed the rest of my family and as long as they have food and water in their bowls, they have zero cares in the world about what I stick in my mouth. They do not look at me with contempt or disgust at my actions. They do not ask me to make better decisions. They do not care that I may have to do something over again simply because of a choice I made. They do not judge what I wear or how I wear it although when I ask them if they like my outfit of choice, they turn around or walk away.
Bottom line: the love our pets have for us is unconditional and non-judgmental. If we were to be like our pets, the ones we love should know we love them regardless of the actions they do, the clothes they wear, the things they say (no matter how hurtful) and what they eat. This is not to say we should refuse to encourage them to the best version of themselves, but it is to say that they should always know that our love for them remains always.
Our pets expect love and kindness in return. They ask for so little: food, water, and love. In being non-judgmental, they are teaching us how to love them. They are saying that we should not judge them for wanting more time with us. They are asking that we not give them a look of disgust when they want to eat more than they should or the wrong thing. They are begging us to be kind, gentle and loving. In other words, they want us to be more like them towards them. I guess, in the pet world, it means treating a pet the way they treat us.
Bottom line: we need to treat people of all ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, mental capacities, political affiliation with the respect and dignity they deserve simply because they are human beings. Our pets have shown us that it can be done. We, as humans with supposedly higher intelligence, can do it too. We have to do it, if for no other reason but to prove our pets taught us this lesson.
Until next time, I’ll be over here playing with my pets on the floor and learning more lessons from them. But in the meantime, here are two images of the best lessons we can learn from dogs and cats.