Five things I learnt about life from my three-legged cat
A couple of years ago, in a moment of madness, I went to our local Cat's Protection League in search of a furry friend. I instantly fell in love with a little black cat and 'knew' she was the one. When I went home and mentioned her to my partner he was a little skeptical as she only had three legs and he wasn't sure what kind of life she'd have.
The poor little thing had been hit by a car. Her owners at the time took her to the vets and she had to have the leg removed. As the owners were unable to pay the vet's bill she got taken to the cat shelter. So this beautiful little cat, aged 8 months old, had lost her leg, her family and her home all at once. I was smitten and talked my partner into it.
We were all set for 'difficulties' - her not being able to move about properly, not being able to get up the stairs etc. We took her home and within 10 minutes she'd run up the stairs. This set the scene for how she has been ever since. She's never been held back by her three legs and lives life to the full. Here's what I've learnt from her: 1) SELF-CARE There’s always time for self-care. Scooter will be in the middle of a mad ‘zoomies’ session chasing her stuffed mouse and will suddenly throw herself on the floor and start grooming herself. She knows the importance of looking after herself, no matter what else may be taking up her attention. 2) ALONE TIME VERSUS CONNECTING WITH OTHERS
Balancing alone time with time for connecting with others is so important and cats have this sorted. When they want a stroke or a cuddle they’re all over you like a rash. But when they want ‘me-time’ they just wander off and hide. Scooter is the queen of this. She'll appear on the bed at 3am for cuddles and at other times will be hiding behind the chest of drawers enjoying her solitude. Knowing when we need to be around others and when we need to be alone and honouring this is so beneficial for our wellbeing. 3) IGNORE YOUR PERCEIVED LIMITATIONS Scooter only has three legs but she bombs it around, leaps over fences and lives life. No limitations to be seen here. She is what she believes herself to be. So often we hold ourselves back by thinking we can't do things, we don't have the skills or talent or abilities. When we get out of our own way we can achieve and enjoy so much more. 4) FOLLOW YOUR EXCITEMENT How often do you do things you 'should' do or 'have to' do? Scooter follows her highest excitement at any moment. If she fancies a nap, she naps. If she’s hungry, she eats, if she wants to chase birds, she chases birds. It’s not about a routine or a to-do list; it’s about inspired action. 5) AND PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT LEARNING Apparently it’s absolutely fine to spill food on the floor, leave it there, walk off and expect someone else to clear it up.
Lindsay Heath is a hypnotherapist, coach and healer. Find out more.