We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. — Thornton Wilder

They say that “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” Yes, cats do have “staff.” Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working for about a dozen cats and I will continue to be happy just to serve them.

Lesson 1: Cats don’t tell you much. You have to develop a real relationship with them to find out anything. If they want food or water, they will tell you loudly by jumping on your stomach in the morning to wake you up or quietly looking up at you with big eyes. OK. Tuna. Now.

Lesson 2: Cats know how to be comfortable. My first cat had her litter in my closet. We did not even know that she was pregnant, but there she was so proud to show off her new family. One of my current cats finds blankets to curl up under and take a nap. Yes, there are all sorts of blankets around the house — just waiting for him. Another one of my cats likes hot water bottles to sit on. And she gets new ones about 2–3 times per day. Another one of my cats likes to listen to meditation music in the morning as if it is part of her daily routine. Yes, good music.

Lesson 3: Cats are little treasures. I can only say that I now know what I want to be when I grow up. Yes, a cat. Or at least like a cat.

Lesson 4: Cats show us the importance of the simple things on a daily basis. Keep the routines. Enjoy good food and lots of water. Sleep when it is cold. Relax with TV.

Lesson 5: Cats are very good listeners. Yes I believe that cats hear everything that we are saying. But they only really respond to what we say when it is important. How much do you love me? Where is my food? How about a nap?

Lesson 6: Cats teach many things. Appreciation. Grace. Gratitude. Joy. Kindness. Love. Peace. Wisdom. My cats have always taught me all of those things.

Enjoy the little things.

Kathleen Welton

Originally published at medium.com