Your furbaby is wiser than you think. Cats know how to get what they want and how to live it up. Here are some career lessons your cat is trying to teach you…
1. Ask for what you want.
Ever had your cat wake you up at 5am to remind you that her food bowl is empty? Or sit on your keyboard / book / newspaper / (insert your cat’s preferred reading material here) when she wants attention?
Cats are NOT shy about asking for what they want. And why should they be? There’s no harm in asking.
I know a lot of people who are not asking for what they want in their career. Ask for the raise. Ask for the promotion. Ask for the project. Ask for what you’re worth. Work up the nerve and just ask. Don’t wait for it to arrive on a silver platter (because it probably won’t).
Ever tried to pet a cat on the stomach? Hiss! Swat! Cats are also crystal clear about communicating what they don’t want. You should be too.
2. Don’t forget to play.
It’s 2am and you hear a smash in the next room. There’s been a break-in! Just as you grab your phone to call 911 your cat screeches by and smashes into another wall. Not a burglar after all. Just your cat having a little nocturnal fun. It’s playtime.
My cat likes to jump around in the bathtub (no water, of course) around 10pm every night. She also likes to play tag. And don’t even get me started on the laser pointer.
We take ourselves so seriously that we forget the importance of play. Play keeps you engaged in your work. It keeps you wide-eyed and curious. It helps you keep it fresh.
Whether it’s a fun little romp or a day of chasing your own tail, make sure you don’t forget to play.
3. Just fucking do it.
Cats are bold. Brazen, actually. They give exactly zero fucks about rules. I rarely get to enjoy fresh tulips for more than an hour or two; my cat eats them before I even get them into water, even though she knows it’s not allowed AND it makes her puke. On the carpet. Every time.
She also likes chips. I once woke up to find an entire bowl of forgotten Cool Ranch Doritos spread across the living room floor, the spices licked clean from one side of each chip. That cheeky little fucker.
And let’s not forget inappropriate lounging spaces. My cat likes to lounge ON THE DINING TABLE. On one occasion she made a nest out of tea towels on the kitchen counter. Ballsy.
Your cat is trying to tell you to loosen up a little. There’s something to be said for just going for it, just doing what you want regardless of the rules. Many rules are silly, self-imposed ones, anyway. Live a little.
4. Relax like you mean it.
We are sooooo wound up. We move from task to task, ambition to ambition, list to list, activity to activity, with just enough recovery time to keep us from passing out. It’s exhausting.
Have you ever seen your cat burned out? Of course you haven’t. That’s because he’s a MASTER relaxer. Lounging in the sun, having a little stretch, a big yawn, an afternoon nap (they don’t call it a cat nap for nothing) – your cat really knows how to chill.
If you’re like most people, I bet you could use a little more chill in your life – some time spent recharging by doing absolutely nothing. Close your laptop, put your phone down, and give it a try.
5. Ignore jerks.
Cats are verrrrry selective about who they will and will not give attention to. Unlike dogs, they don’t want to make friends with everyone they meet. They either love you or ignore you, and if you’re a jerk to a cat you’re going to get the cold shoulder.
Cats are not hateful or hostile; they just know who to snuggle up to and who to ignore. I think we could learn something from that, especially those of us who are approval seekers. No sense wasting your precious time and energy on jerks. That condescending, mansplaining board member? That gossipy colleague? That crotchety coworker? Don’t pay them any attention. Not worth it.
6. If it feels good, lean into it.
Oooooh yeah, right behind the left ear. Yeah, that’s the spot. Suddenly your cat is putty in your hands, nuzzling right into those kitty scratches. She knows what she likes and she’s not afraid to lean right into it. This goes for scratches, snuggles, and pretty much anything that feels good.
Why on earth don’t we do this – lean into the good stuff – more often ourselves?
What would feel good to you at work? Lacing up and hitting the gym at lunch? Or maybe taking a sunny stroll? How about taking a lunch break that’s long enough to get some healthy food? Or packing a delicious lunch instead of wolfing down a slice of greasy pizza? How about asking for an exciting project? Going for the promotion? Asking for a raise? Leaving work on time? Actually using all of your vacation days? Your cat would be the first to tell you if it feels good, lean into it.