Most of the people I know like having pets whether it be a dog, a cat, a parrot or a snake. Some even go to the extent of dressing them up or buying them fancy accessories. And, why not? Our pets bring us a lot of joy in our lives. I am fortunate enough to have grown up having pets around in our house. I remember having so many dogs and cats that we didn’t consider them pets, but rather members of our family. We worry a lot when they are not feeling well, and we are happy when they allow us to play and cuddle with them.
Animals, especially the ones that we have for a long time, are always sensitive to us. I know our cats know us well. When we feel sick, tired or even emotionally down, they can sense it. When that happens, they usually lay next to us or just sit on our laps, which is their way of showing us that they are there for us. We have a blind cat named bitty. He always follows my sister around, and he gets irritated when she has to leave for work abroad. He yells and gets grumpy, but when my sister is around, he goes back to his old sweet self. Our pets have traits that we can all learn from. I have compiled a list of 10 here that I hope we can all learn from to make our lives richer.
1. They love unconditionally – This is the one thing that we should always take to heart. We can love without having to expect anything in return. This, I believe, is a gift. Love someone for who they are and not for what they can give.
2. They are loyal – No matter what happens, they will stick by you. There was a point in our lives when we lost everything, and that included some of the people we thought were friends, but our pets remained with us no matter what. Loyalty is a good trait to learn from our pets. Are you loyal to your friends and your family?
3. They will always ask for help – Our pets rely on us for their lives. They send signals to us when they are hungry or thirsty. We too should know when we need to ask for help. We all have our weaknesses, and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, especially when we need it. I am not saying to rely on others for your living, but what is important is to have the courage to ask for help when you need it. Do not be afraid to open up and talk to someone.
4. They never hold grudges – There are times when we need to discipline our pets when they do something wrong. However, one thing we can learn from them is that they never hold that against us. We sometimes hold grudges when we are being scolded. Being open to forgiveness and asking for forgiveness is important.
5. They know how to show appreciation – Our dog, Honey, always wags her tail when she is happy and especially when she is given a treat. Our cats purr and rub their bodies against us when we pet them. They are not afraid to show their appreciation. We too can learn from that. It is always good to tell others from time to time that we appreciate them or better yet, show them with a simple hug, kiss or through little tokens of appreciation.
6. They appreciate alone time – Our cats like playing with each other, but one thing I like about them is that they also value and can appreciate being by themselves. I know some people hate being alone, but I think there is also a balance. We should not be afraid to have our alone time. Take that time to develop and learn things that can benefit you in the long run.
7. They are nurturing – When our mom cat, Mallows, was alive, she was one of the most dedicated moms I have ever encountered. She would always make sure that the needs of her babies were met before her own. Even our dog, Honey, who thinks she is a cat, took turns taking care of the little kittens even though they were not her kids, and they didn’t even belong to the same species. We could all learn to be nurturing to our kids. For those of us who are not parents, maybe we could learn to nurture our siblings. It never hurts to be loving and caring to others.
8. They are creative – I know some animals can sing and talk, while others are even cast in movies. Animals have a way of being able to show their creativity, and they are not afraid to do so. We too should hone whatever God-given talents we have and not be afraid to share them. We are all born creative. Maybe not in the same capacity, but we do have strengths that others can draw inspiration from.
9. They are who they are – Even if our dog thinks she is a cat, Honey is still the dog that she is. She barks, she behaves like a dog, and she does not pretend to be anything else. We too need to learn to be comfortable, and just be who we are. The only way we can find true contentment and happiness is by being able to find out who we are and to love ourselves. We do not need to pretend we are someone we are not.
10. They can live simple lives – Give them what they need, and they are happy. Give them extra, and it’s a bonus. We all can learn to be happy living a simple life. Some people go through life unhappy because they do not know the difference between what they need, and what they want. I am not saying we should not go for our goals in life, but I am simply stating that we can be happy even if we do not get everything we want. If we do get what we want, then consider it a bonus!