My wife extracted valuable life lessons from Bonnie, our youngest cat, and wrote about it on her blog. I too love the silly things she does (both the cat and the wife, but we’re talking about the cat now). It seemed like a good idea to translate the original Dutch text and let Bonnie’s eternal wisdom loose upon another kind of audience here. Miauw!
Are you living your life?
Bonnie is a cat, Ragdoll, and she’s born in April 2021. When I saw her the first time and took her in my arms, something happened that can be described as love at first sight. Later, it would be clear to me that it is more than that and why, according to me, of all cats, it was her that crossed my life path.
Bonnie is a cat with character. A personality totally different than mine with secret admiration on my part for her traits. Strange but true, but it became clear pretty quickly that I could learn quite a few life lessons from Bonnie. You see, she has a few character traits where I’d like to grow in myself. The summary of those traits is also the summary of who she is: Bonnie simply lives her life…
Live your life, every day!—Life motto, Bonnie the Cat
(The pillowcase in the picture above is made by Kristien and can be bought via her webshop)
Bonnie, fully lives her life—cat or otherwise. She enjoys everything and nothings seems to bother her. She also radiates positivity. Even if it’s just her cheerful way of doing things or reacting to something. She’s a real chatterbox with funny sounds, she loves cuddling, and her behavior (especially the unexpected ones) time and time again make you laugh. But Bonnie is more than that. These are, according to me, the life lessons that I can learn from her:
1. Knowing what you want and what you don’t want
Bonnie is a cat that very clearly knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want. She tolerates a lot but clearly (and usually vocally) states her limits. She’s very explicit and steadfast in that.
2. Make sure you get what you want
Related to point 1, there’s also: make sure that you get what you want. Because knowing what you want is of course just step one: that doesn’t mean you have it, or it’s not reality yet. Bonnie is very persistent. She puts her teeth into things—sometimes literally, after all it’s a cat, remember?—and keeps on persevering in all kinds of ways until she has reached her goal.
3. View the world with an open mind
For Bonnie, every time is the first time: it looks like everything she sees or does is her first ever experience in her life while encountering things. Even if she saw or did something an hour before, that doesn’t matter. Every time she’s cheerful and spontaneous. You can see her enjoy the thing she’s doing. Always searching and analyzing everything in this world. She sees or finds things of which you’d ask yourself: how did she manage to find that?
4. Enjoy the little things in life
Related to point 3, she also enjoys the small things in life. Sometimes very literally, like the smallest possible toy. But Bonnie is satisfied quickly, very quickly, with whatever at hand. But most of all, she loves cuddling and hugging and simply being with you. She also does this in a heartwarming way.
5. Be present but don’t exaggerate and above all: be calm
Bonnie is like a ninja-cat. She’s often present without you knowing. She does startle us often, because all of a sudden there’s a white thing staring at you. Or, if you’re not paying attention at all: you stumble and trip over a white thing. So Bonnie can sit somewhere very calmly and elegantly, and can just be present in the space. Just, doing, well, nothing. Sitting, looking around, and sometimes wiggling her tail a little bit form left to right. That’s all. Because of that, she also emits peace and calmness. You become very peaceful and zen by just looking at her (until the vocals reboot).
6. Don’t be afraid, just do it
Bonnie is a cat that’s (almost) afraid of nothing. If there’s something she doesn’t know, she’ll be a little more prudent and careful, but she will try again and again and conquer her fears that way. This is probably also related to her “open mind”-attitude. That way, she’s already achieved more things in her young life years than our other and much older cat.
7. With a meh attitude through life
Connected to point 6, sometimes, things do go wrong. And when that happens, she’s not at all ashamed of it. On the contrary, she just stays present and tries again a little later. She has a real je m’en fous attitude. It doesn’t bother her that something went wrong, and even the consequences are simply accepted. And if it was a negative consequence, then it looks like her positivity automatically reduces the problem to something much less worse. Usually, a second attempt at something succeeds. It looks like she can put things into perspective like no other.
Every time I see Bonnie, I am being reminded of those seven life lessons. And that’s great because it reminds me of the things I do too little and want to do more of: living life…
and you? do you live your life? Or are you perhaps being lived?