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What Do Cats Wanting Attention Teach Us About Acceptance?

Cats Teach Us Acceptance

I'm sure you're reading this and wondering how cats teach us acceptance.

I mean, have you ever tried working on the computer when you have a cat in the room with you?

I'm sure the cat owners reading this know exactly what I mean.

You know when your cat is in one of their persistent moods and they really want your attention.

Depending on how you're feeling, you might find this sudden need for attention from an animal that is infamously aloof to be heartwarming, or perhaps amusing. Alternatively, you might find it even annoying, especially if you have a deadline to face or when you find that it is breaking your focus and taking away your attention from where you would like it to be.

How a Cat Wanting Attention Leads To Acceptance

I don't know about you but when that has happened to me, I've often found that I am faced with a few choices.

The first is to try to ignore the cat.

Now, I do believe it was Yoda who famously said, 'do or do not, there is no try', and I suspect that he may have never had a cat.

He is kind of right though, since 'try' often indicates make an attempt or an effort. It's like when a friend says that they'll 'try' to make the BBQ that you're having on the weekend. From the moment they drop the 'try' in, you kind of know that they're unlikely to make it. It's the same with 'trying' to 'ignore' a cat when you're working on the computer and the cat wants your attention. You can give it a valiant attempt, however, I suspect that, much like the Borg in Star Trek, resistance is going to be futile.

Can You See "Around" a Cat That Is Right In Your Face?

You'll try to pretend to see around the cat however chances are you're going to spend more time looking at a furry butt than the contents of your screen. Cats have a magical ability to be able to present their absolute best side to you when you least need it.

Using Distraction

You could also aim to distract the cat with a toy or to place it down on the ground. Now, this is likely to work for a little while, however, when a cat wants your attention and it has decided that NOW is the time when it is going to happen, chances are that it will jump back up on the desk and stand between you and the monitor once more, perhaps even trying to win you over with one of those cute little cat 'head bumps' that translates in cat as 'I love you'.

A Cat On The Lap Is Best

Can I share with you my secret? If possible, I simply allow it to sit on my lap. Once it is on my lap, it makes itself comfortable and I can get on with focusing on the task at hand. The cat is still there. In fact, I've now just got myself a lap warmer for those cold Melbourne evenings like tonight. The real bonus is that my focus is back where it should be. Instead of trying to resist the cat's advances, I leaned into it and allowed it to find a place on my lap.

Dealing With Thoughts Like Dealing With Cats

We'll often have thoughts that pop up in our life that will try to distract us much like a cat desperate for attention. When that happens, we can choose to respond to it in a few ways. We could try to ignore it, working around it, hoping that we can magically see through it however you and I both know that you're just 'trying' to work. We could attempt to distract the thought and see if it just goes away however we all know that the more we attempt NOT to think of something, the more often it just seems to be forever present. The third option is to just accept that the thought is there, regardless of if it is being cute or frustrating, and allow it to be with us as we find a way to bring our focus to where it needs to be.

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