• Tori Quinn

Cats on the Table

It's a Thursday in May (I had to check my calendar to remind myself of that), natural light is streaming through the windows on each side of me as I write, and I am peaceful. Even in the midst of cats that can drive me bonkers and the 'who knows?' -ishness of this life.

The Martha Stewarts and cat whisperers of the world may hate me, but I'm admitting it anyway. Today, I'm finally letting the cats on the table. After months and months, they've won. Words of wisdom? Never enter a battle with a cat. They are brutal. Me and them, we've kept up this dance forever. I have tried with all my might to simply KEEP THEM OFF THE TABLE! It's made me almost as batty as them, feeling the righteous anger rise up in me as I see them leap for the tabletop to get a different view of the world out the window. "You're not...supposed...TO DO THAT!" cries everything in me that's been raised properly. Problem is, they don't speak English.

Exhausted from all this, today I finally just gave up the power struggle and realized that it's not even worth getting that stressed over. Honestly, we never even eat at the kitchen table and I'm sure they hop up on it whenever we're gone anyway, whether I try to train them in proper etiquette or not. Some things are just not worth it, and I'm done trying to herd cats.

I'm also tired of waiting until everything's in order before I fully live, love, and appreciate this life. Sure, there are parts of me that can't help but jump up on that table, too. I can be distracted, discouraged, or negative, but sometimes when we try too hard to purify ourselves from any quirks, we keep ourselves from getting anything awesome done. So, what lesson am I taking from all the paw prints on the elevated wood, you ask? Don't sweat the small stuff. If you've got some imperfect parts of yourself, realize that it's not that big of a deal. We can spend more time trying to straighten out the quirks of our personalities, bury our weaknesses, or bleach our past mistakes that we forget to live our lives. I'd argue that it's better to color outside the lines than to never color at all. So, don't wait to be perfect before you step into your life. Do life quirky. That's what I'm constantly learning, a step at a time.

My greatest times of joy haven't necessarily been when things were all in order. They've been when I actively choose to be grateful, peaceful, and free, regardless of the mess. All I'm saying is, if I wait until my cats are prim and proper before I am happy, I will never be happy.

So, today, I'm just choosing to be happy - and to be generous with my love and acceptance of these cats instead of looking at them with disdain. It's easier on me and them, not spending so much energy on trying to control their habits. It gives me more time and energy to focus on what does make me happy - writing about cats. ;)

The truth is, when we focus too much on the problems we'd like fixed - whether around us or within us, we can stop tending to the beautiful things. There is a balance of course, but I don't just want a life free of weeds. I want flowers, too.