Everything I need to know I already learned from my cats.


It’s 12:35pm on Saturday and I’m looking at my 14lb 3yr old cat Jack. He’s laying belly up at the entrance of my kitchen. His eyes are close only peaking occasionally to make sure our 8 month old kitty Smokey isn’t plotting a sneak attack from somewhere on the other side of the room. Jack is a Zen master. Smokey…not so much, but he’ll get there too. They always do.

Smokey is in many ways still a baby, well maybe a teenager if we’re talking cat years. While loading the iPad I bought on a compulsive whim Thursday with apps, I remembered this pretty hysterical YouTube video of a cat playing on an iPad. I search the app store for “cat toy” and I find and app called “Cat Toys”. I immediately download it and summon old Smokey to test it out, as he is usually the more enthusiastic of the two. He was hooked instantly. He stalked mice, ping pong balls, rats, spiders and his favorite…a spotted frog. He swatted, squirmed, pawed, eyes stretched and dancing. His frustration was my entertainment. Sick. I know. I eventually had to pry my iPad away from the poor beast as I saw madness slowly but surely setting in.

This morning. I summoned Jacky boy to have a turn with the game. He meowed leaping on my bed as he does every morning looking very much like an expensive fur muff. I fire up the app. The mouse trolls across the screen, slow at first then speeding up and bouncing off the virtual walls. Jack looked at it for about 15 seconds (10 of which I’m absolutely positive he was saying to himself “What is this bitch doin’?”). He sighed in disappointment as he only really wanted his morning head scratch, and plopped off the bed.

In that moment I saw a valuable lesson. Smokey, the younger/more immature cat showed a passion and excitement about this new thing that only comes with youthful ignorance. He was going to capture that damn frog if it killed him even though there was no indication whatsoever that the frog even existed. Jack on the other hand was able to, being the elder states cat that he is took one look at the dancing electric rodent and somehow knew it was a worthless cause. He spared himself the agony of chasing after something that would very likely never be a possibility.

How often do we see a situation. Know the shit ain’t right, but do it anyway? Yeah. I know right. I’ve got a couple of dancing electric mice scenarios going in my life this very moment. I dunno, call me crazy (cause I am), but seeing Jack walk away, never even engaging in the agony of the chase, but KNOWING it was a lost cause inspired me. I may take a few swats, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll gain the wherewithal to walk away and spare myself the agony of what I already know is a lost cause.


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