Cat ladies, we get it. Wherever you fall on the feline love continuum, you can learn lessons about life and love by observing these furry creatures, including:
1. Regular affection forms a bond. For cats and humans, being held, hugged, and cuddled creates a loving feeling.
2. Purring is contagious. When you are happy and you show it, your partner will be happy too.
3. Patience prevents problems. Naturally wary, cats take their time to get acquainted with new people. That’s a good rule of thumb for all.
4. Everyone shows love in his or her own way. While dogs are effusive and predictable in their demonstrations of love, cats are more subtle and unpredictable. When a pet—or your partner—shows love in an unpredictable way, appreciate the expression for what it is.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for attention. Your cat will leap onto your lap, lay beside your computer keyboard, and creep onto your chest while you sleep—all because she wants your love and affection.
6. Slow down and savor life. Cats don’t gobble down their food, nor do they rush to get out of bed. When it comes to life and love, we all can ease off the fast pace and enjoy every moment.
7. Even big disputes can be overcome. Despite their well-known feud, cats and dogs often learn to get along. Conflicts are inevitable among people too, but they can be worked through with harmony restored.
8. Rest is vital to good health and good moods. Although you probably wouldn’t sleep as much as a cat–typically sixteen to twenty hours a day—everything about your life (and love life) will be improved with adequate rest.
9. Playing hard to get isn’t the best strategy. Notorious for being standoffish, cats sometimes learn—like humans do—that aloofness is a turn-off. Most (healthy) people much prefer responsiveness over remoteness.
10. Alone time enhances “us” time. Cats love their solitude, which makes it all the more special when they want to cuddle and play.
11. Cleanliness is an attractive trait. Cats spend about one-third of their waking hours grooming themselves. That may be overkill for humans, but some partners would appreciate a little more hygiene from their significant other.
12. Insist on the best. Cats expect to be treated well, fed well, and handled well. People should too.
13. Keep the mystery alive. One thing that makes cats intriguing is their mysteriousness. Love relationships can be kept fresh with a dose of mystery.
14. Don’t take it personally. Cats may scratch up your couch or chew your houseplants—not out of spite, but because that’s what cats do. Your partner will sometimes offend you not because he intends to, but because he’s oblivious. This doesn’t necessarily excuse bad behavior, but it does help you not take it personally.
15. To keep things interesting, do something out of character. Your cat follows a predictable routine most of the time—until she decides to climb the curtains, jump into the clothes dryer, or sprint around the living room for no apparent reason. Every now and then, you too should be spontaneous and silly.
What else can cats teach us about love?