Cats are sweet animals, and they can teach our kids a number of lessons. My kids have learned so much from our cat, and I’m not joking. Some of the lessons he’s taught them over the past few years are really good and others aren’t quite so good. They’ve learned, for example, not to jump on top of a pit bull from the top of the fridge, because it probably will not end well for the cat. They’ve also learned that when you do not follow the rules, you do have to face the consequences, which is something that everyone should learn. But our cat also taught our kids some fun stuff, too. For us, it’s been a blessing to have had our cat for so many years. He might be gone now, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s been a very important member to our family, and a very important love to our kids. Here’s what cats have to teach kids that you might not even realize.
You’ll land on your feet
Sometimes in life you slip and fall and you make mistakes. You overshoot the balcony upstairs and take a flying leap to the first floor. It’s not safe and it might hurt, but mistakes happen in life and you usually do land on your feet. Even if it does not seem like it right away, you do learn from your mistakes. This allows you to get up, dust yourself off and try again to do it better and more accurately.
If you fail, try again
Cats fail all the time. My cat loved to try and get into the laundry room when the kids would shut the door. He would try so hard to pull down the door handle and get in. He did this over and over again until he finally realized just where to stand and where to grab the handle in order to get down. He did it for months after that, and it taught our kids that if at first you do not succeed, try again.
The view from the top is always the best
Cats love to be up above the world, and for good reason. The view from up there is far superior to the view from anywhere else; trust me. Shoot for the top and appreciate the view from up there. It’s not one everyone gets to have.
You don’t need much
A hair tie and a ball of dust are plenty enough to keep you entertained for the rest of your life. Maybe you don’t want to let your kids play with dust, but you feel what I’m saying about cats teaching kids they need not have too much in life to enjoy what they do have in life.
A little freedom is worth everything
When our cat escaped the house for the first time to enjoy a few hours on the porch, it was pure bliss for him. He loved every second of it, and he enjoyed it. He did not take his freedom for granted. He respected it and enjoyed it and made the most out of it.
Saying goodbye is difficult
Animals do not live forever, and neither do humans. Our cat taught our kids that saying goodbye is difficult. They were able to say goodbye to him when he disappeared a few weeks ago. It’s our hope he will eventually find his way home, but our kids know that he might not ever come home. They’re coming to terms with it, and we are always hopeful.
Breaking the rules might be worth it for a second, but it’s not for long
Our cat might break the rules from time to time – or he did, anyway, but it was never worth it for long. He was always in trouble when he tried to take food from a child or when he escaped the house. And this time, he got out the porch and he never came back. We aren’t sure what happened, but we’re guessing it probably was not worth it. We hope he has a new home with a girlfriend and a pool and a big porch, but we think he was taken by coyotes. Not worth it; right?
The world does not revolve around you
Cats are not like dogs. They do not love you no matter what all the time. They sometimes want nothing to do with you. This is a valuable less for kids; you are not the center of the universe and you cannot make people do what you want all the time. You have to let it go and accept your role in life. Kids need this to get by, and we thank our cat for teaching our kids that they are not the center of the world. They still try to be, but they know they are not.
You are not the boss
This is probably the most important lesson that cats teach kids; they are not the boss. Cats rarely listen in general, but even less so to kids. Our kids learned the hard way that they are not the boss, and we kind of enjoyed that more than we should. But they need to know these things, and we thank the cat for doing this for us.
You have to respect others
Or they will urinate on your bed. Okay, so maybe this only happens to my husband when he’s mean to the cat. Well, he’s not mean; but when the cat would jump up on the kitchen counters, it made my husband furious. He’d take the cat and put him down over and over and over again. He’d spray the cat with water. He’d do whatever he could find online, in books and that the vet suggested to keep the cat off the counters. Did not work; but every time he did this, the cat would then urinate on the bed. It’s almost as if he was saying, “You respect my wishes, I’ll respect yours,” to my husband.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/ San Francisco Zoo/Getty Images