What Our Cats Teach Us

I am a firm believer that we are given what we need to grow in life.  I also believe that I am supposed to have the cats I have, those are Charlie and Trigg and that I was supposed to have Rags.  Although, he, technically, is not mine, I have a very strong bond with Caymus, so he is also included.  If you have read about me, then you know that I lived with Caymus and Murphy at my parents’ house when Rags was first diagnosed with lymphoma.  It wasn’t until I started dating Bill that I began to appreciate the gentle giant in Caymus.  So sometimes it takes someone else to point out what a great cat you have!  I’ve been madly in love with my Caymus ever since.

Here is what my cats have taught me:

Rags (8/8/88-3/30/09)


Rags taught me the value of unconditional love and the power of wisdom.  He was my friend until the end and continues to teach me lessons by the things he taught me.  We lost a very close family friend, Curtis, shortly after Rags passed.  Our family friend died of a heart attack – we were not able to say goodbye.  Rags’ passing helped me understand the process and get through it smoothly (although it would have been nice to have Rags around when Curtis died!!).

Through his chemo treatments and then Chronic Renal Failure diagnosis, Rags taught me that just because the doctor says it, doesn’t mean it’s so.  Rags was given 4-8 months to live if given chemo, he lived 3 more years.  Rags was given 2 weeks to live when diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure and lived 3 more months.

Caymus (8/5/04-12/12/20)


Caymus has taught me the beauty of being a sensitive and sweet soul.  Watching him interact with Rags taught me a respect for my elders.

I have learned you can be fat and fabulous.

Caymus settles my soul and gives me a peace I didn’t know existed until I accepted him and loved him.

Charlie (7/23/09 –   )

Charlie - Spring 2011
Charlie – Spring 2011

Charlie has taught me that you can be more than what you are.  Charlie is much more than a cat and knows it.  He is here to heal me and help me more than I’ve figured out so far.  He is an old soul and a wise one, much like my Rags, so there is more to learn from him.

Trigg (8/19/09 –   )

Yeowww Catnip Ball” src=”https://www.floppycats.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Trigg-with-Yeowww-Catnip-Ball-274×300.jpg” alt=”Trigg with Yeowww Catnip Ball” width=”274″ height=”300″ /> Trigg with Yeowww Catnip Ball

Trigg has taught me the joy of life that every day brings.  He is the most content soul when he is in his world, and I have come to realize that I am the same way – that is, that I am content when I am the most content soul when I am in my world.

Trigg is the funniest cat I have ever met.  He does the quirkiest things that make me laugh out loud.  Rags and Charlie made me laugh too by hiding and scaring me, but Trigg is an absolute joy to watch.  His zest for life is so fun and glee-ful.

He has taught me to enjoy life, but has also taught me that I have a lot to teach him about self confidence (which I have helped Caymus on).

I was inspired to write this post after watching Oprah’s Farewell show where she talked about listening to that little voice inside of you.  I don’t know if the cats help me bring that out or not – and maybe this is so far-fetched that every one will think I’m nuts…but I am still interested – what have your kitties taught you?


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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Lu Norton says:

    Jen, I love your passion for pets, not just Ragdolls.

    My Caramel and Peppermint are my therapies. In this crazy hectic world, my only source of happiness and peace are my cats.

    Once, Caramel licked the tears off my eyes when I was sobbing hard while I was at school and working full time. That was one gesture that Caramel did that I will never forget. I remember my vision was so blurry and as I opened my eyes, there he was, my Caramel, giving me a look of concern. As if he’s telling me, you’re going to be fine-you can get through this. Caramel taught me strength. He was a kitten when that incident happened. And my he turned out to be a strong and dominant cat.

    My Peppermint is such a sweetheart. Very mellow and knows how to appreciate even the tiniest silliest things in life such as a tiny crumpled piece of paper. He taught me not to take anything for granted. That you always have to seize the moment and enjoy life to the fullest.

    My love for my cats is immeasurable. And I think my cats knows it. We might not speak the same language. But I can tell, through their gestures and purrs.

    1. Thanks for sharing Lu! I think it is so important to learn from them! I hear you with the source of happiness/peace – Rags was my bandaid man and when I am sad I still desire his affection! So when I say I want him back as a Christmas present, I mean it!

  2. I found this doing a google on What our cats can teach us. And what you’ve said is so very true. I was recently “chosen” by a kitten that was supposed to belong to my husband. We were really torn for a name, and somewhat settled on Garfield (he’s an orange tabby, go figure). But it’s since been changed to Buddy because that’s what he is to me. He follows me everywhere, sits on my shoulder, sleeps next to my head, and loves to keep my lap warm when I’m at my computer. And I haven’t suffered a single panic attack since we’ve gotten him, which is now several weeks past (and I have really nasty nasty anxiety disorder). Buddy is more than just some stray cat…he is my friend. We have a mutual relationship of love and trust. I never thought of myself as a “cat person”, having grown up with dogs, but Bud has definitely given me a change of heart.

    1. Hi Kate – thanks for sharing your story of Buddy with us! I love it that he has given you a greater peace and kept your panic attacks at bay! They are amazing creatures. Someone once told me that cats love energy and love to “absorb” it – might make sense why you don’t have those attacks anymore – because Garfield sucking that energy right out of you! HA! Do you know that you can Share Garfield on my site? Follow this link – you can post a photo and share a little story.

  3. Jenny, thank you so very much for this blog. My non-animal family and friends would never understand, but my Merlin (yes, of Merlin’s Hope fame) taught me the compassion I lost after my step-father’s death. Without him, there would be no Merlin’s Hope; without him, I would have not have helped the over 750 cats that have come through Merlin’s Hope since its inception in 2005. Without him (and my other equally wonderful and equally educational cats), I would not be the person I am today. So, yes, each of our cats gives us a gift.

    1. MeLinda – I am glad you liked it and thanks for the feedback . It is great to here about Merlin. It is soo cool what our cats teach us.

  4. My cats have taught me to live in the moment, to not hold a grudge, and enjoy simply ‘being’ with what is. They are so wise and connected to Nature unlike me–always getting lost in my thoughts and worries. My cats are steady and fully engaged in whatever they are doing: when they play, they really get into it, and when they sleep, they relax completely. From them, I have learned how beautiful the animal kingdom is. I am awed at how all animals resonate so beautifully with nature and the inner core of life. My cats speak volumes without saying a word. They are so sweet and loving and floppy! They don’t waver in their affections toward me. They have taught me so much about consistency, trust, and love. They are teachers and healers to me every day and I am so grateful they have chosen me to be their ‘slave.’ I couldn’t love them more! They give me such sweet companionship and I truly believe that they do more for me than I could ever do for them. Jenny, I really enjoyed reading about what your beautiful cats have taught you!

    1. thanks, geo. i loved reading about what your cats have taught you! and i loved reading what you wrote about your cats – i can agree and relate to all of it!! i believe they are teachers and healers too!!

  5. This is probably one of the most beautiful articles I have heard thus far from your blog. There are other great ones, but this one really touches your heart – the same as your endearing compositions for Rags, they are all truly beautiful. Animals teach us in so many ways, what I love the most is that they teach us innocence, purity, and unconditional love. We learn from every experience and moment we encounter throughout our entire lives, we just need to take a moment and take it all in.

    1. thanks, melody. i am always thinking about what my cats do for me, but it seems like it turns some people off, so i try to keep it at a minimum. glad you enjoyed it.

      1. It is unfortunate, but it is impossible to satisfy everyone since humans differ from each other. At least you have more positive support than negative!

  6. You ARE 100% correct. Of course, ALL our pets teach us many things, if we are listening, looking…and have a relationship with them. They KNOW things we don’t and can learn and vice versa. Everyone who loves their pets knows this–it’s part of why we love them and are so intrigued by them. I love your cats more knowing what you’ve discovered from them.

    1. thanks, karen. i wondered about how folks would take this post – i did have two people unsubscribe from flppycats today!!

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