Self-Care And The Cat
Since I can remember, I have been attracted to cats. Their marble-like eyes have entranced me. Their soft, multicolored fur speaks to my creative side. Their sleek and graceful movements remind me of my inner dancer. And when they cuddle and brush against me it’s like being wrapped around a soft blanket.
One of the most interesting things I’ve heard said about cats is found in the old proverb: “A cat has nine lives, for three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.” Whether or not that is true, what is most interesting about cats for me since I began living a healthier lifestyle is the delightful way a cat grooms itself. Have you ever wondered why a cat licks his paws, chews on herself or brushes against you? Or at what age they begin their grooming habits?
An article I found in the Hills Pet Nutrition Center website says that, while it is true that a cat grooms itself to keep clean, there are other health reasons why they do so. Below are a few.
“Self-grooming is a trademark characteristic of most cats that begins right after birth. Mothers lick their kittens to clean them, provoke urination and suckling, provide comfort, and strengthen their bond. At 4 weeks of age, kittens begin grooming themselves, and shortly thereafter start grooming their mother and litter-mates.
This self-grooming and mutual grooming (referred to as (allo-grooming) continues into adulthood.” “Cats are flexible, strategic, and well-equipped for grooming”, says the source. “Everything from the rough surface of a cat's tongue to her sharp teeth, comb-like paws, and forepaws add up to a finely tuned grooming machine. A cat can even use her front paws to stimulate tiny oil glands on her head. The oil is a cat’s“perfume” and is spread all over the body.”
Like cats, we humans learn, at an early age, self-care habits that will prove to be for our good, as we grow older and smarter. These include brushing our teeth; bathing regularly; combing our hair; making sure we eat well; regular doctor visits; and keeping an organized, clean space to share with family and friends. Unlike cats, though, our learning is not instinctual but nurtured and modeled by other humans.
As time passes and the realities of life come upon us, our attention to self-care habits gets put to the side. We begin a downward spiral the busier we get. One day we realize we are neglecting important aspects of self-care that once kept us in good shape and energized.
Our past healthy choices gradually have succumbed to the overwhelming number of messages coming into our command center, the brain, from all directions like arrows hitting their target and bringing us to the ground. These demands of modern living make it difficult for us to get back up on our feet again, as our bodies clearly reveal the signs of aging and deterioration.
Is there something that can be done? Is there a way out of this situation we have put ourselves in? The answer is YES, we can. And yes, there are many ways we can pull ourselves out of this unhealthy cycle. We can start out by getting to know the wonderful body we move around in every day. Like the cat’s finely tuned, grooming machine mentioned above, our body is an amazing machine designed to repair, restore and rejuvenate continually. Letting it do what it’s designed to do can improve our life and bring it back into balance.
9 Tips For Nine Lives
Following are nine things we can do to regain control of our health and allow our bodies to repair, restore and rejuvenate.
Sleep at least 7 hours a night
Set some quiet time for yourself
Make clean water drinking a priority
Eat less, eat lean, and eat greens
Find out what it is you LOVE – then do more of it
Like the cat, find grooming techniques that work for you
Stay young at heart – make room for play
Breathe deeply for 5 to 10 minutes daily
Positive thinking leaves no room for stinking thinking
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