I’ve recently taken in a few foster kittens. “A few” being one of those “relative” terms I’m always warning my workshop participants about.
“Define ‘a few’ on a scale of one to 100?”
Taking care of these little creatures, whose combined weight is around 8 lbs, has been easy and quite entertaining. What I didn’t know, was how educational it was going to be.
Here are some lessons we could all learn from kittens:
1. Communicate your needs.
If you’re hungry, let someone know.
If you need some attention, let someone know.
2. Show appreciation when your needs are met.
My foster kittens love to eat. When I come in with their food in the morning, they dive in. However, when they’re done, they always come over and sit by me (or on me) and purr. I think that’s their way of saying “thanks.”
When others help you meet your needs, let them know how much they’ve helped and that you appreciate it.
3. When your needs have been met, let someone else have a turn.
Kittens seem to have a system of trade-off. They play with something, then let someone else have a turn. They eat and then move on to make room for someone else. They groom each other and get groomed in return.
Most of us go through our days focused on getting our own needs met. When we get up in the morning, our first thought generally isn’t, “Gee, what can I do for someone else today?” Try setting a goal, even for one day, to find out what those around you need and how you can help.
4. Get enough rest.
When kittens are tired, they just stop and take a nap. Although we’re not always in the position to do so ourselves, most of us need to do a better job of at least getting a good night’s sleep. When we don’t, things generally don’t go well for us– we make mistakes, can’t clearly think through problems, and we don’t communicate well with others. Try getting in your 8 hours– or at least more than you do now!
5. When in doubt, lean back and assess the situation before diving in.
Kittens are pretty clever. When facing an unknow situation, the smart ones don’t cower, but they’re cautious and take a second to breathe, observe, and “think about it,” before jumping in. We could learn a lesson from that.