life lessons

What My Daughter’s Cat Is Teaching Me

Some people are dog people. Some are cat people. I am both.

However, for many years we have had only cats because we have so many outside the home responsibilities and cats are better with being home alone. For the last eight years I rode in a semi with my hubby around the 48 states and Canada and we had no pets. I have recently settled with our adult hearing-impaired daughter in her apartment (not exactly by choice, but by God’s loving provision, and that is another story for another time).

I have been blessed to become housemates with Ruth, a Siamese/Tabby mix my daughter, Vicky, got from a shelter to be a hearing aid cat. If you’ve never hear of a hearing aid cat, you’re not alone. Vicky hoped to be able to train this kitty to let her know when things are happening that she might not be able to hear. We also hoped Ruth would be a good friend and companion for her as a single young woman.

Well, I’m not sure who is getting trained all the time, but this cat is daily a wonder and a blessing from God. She runs downstairs or to the door anytime anyone is approaching or making noises outside. She always knows when it is time for “mommy” or “grandma” or even “grandpa” to come home and sits waiting at the door for that happy occasion.

Ruthie even lets us know when it’s time to get up mornings with a jump on the bed or a pat on the face (or whiskers in the face or a lick on the eyelids). She is very vocal and lets us know by meows that sound a lot like words sometimes that we need to get ready for work or shut a window or door against loud noises (she doesn’t like mowers or trash trucks). When anyone is sick she will sit with them on a raised recliner seat sharing fuzzy warmth. And sometimes she goes off and leaves us alone.

Life Lessons… From The CatLife is about balance (& 4 other life lessons we can learn from cats)

So here’s what I’ve learned from Ruthie that I’m figuring out how to apply to my own life:

  1. Service gives opportunities for praise and reward (All a cat asks for in return for being our living alarm is meals, treats, “rubbies,” and occasional “conversations” because she is so vocal)
  2. Nobody’s perfect (she doesn’t like to be hugged or held but she is learning to tolerate it from “mommy.” And boy she does shed! She is also not a fan of grampa playing music on the computer. The high notes make her ears twitch.)
  3. It doesn’t take much to be a mood-lifter (just seeing her on “bug patrol” by the front door or having her curl up next to you is enough)
  4. Comfort doesn’t mean smother (She’ll sit at the very edge of the bed or seat and not intrude on what you’re doing.)
  5. Life is about balance. Active time (running up and down the stairs is one of her favorites), social time, and alone time are all important.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” So it is with Ruthie.

Mary Findley

Mary C. Findley has poured her real life into her writing. From the cover designs inspired by her lifelong art studies to the love of pets and country life that worm their way into her historicals. The never-say-die heroes in her twenty-some fiction works are inspired by her husband, a crazy smart man with whom she co-writes science and history-based nonfiction. She’s a strong believer in helping others and also has books about publishing and the need to have strong standards in reading and writing.

Our feline friends teach us many lessons, from their days as a kitten to their quiet senior years. Along the way they keep us company, provide unconditional love, and share in the ups and downs of our lives. These 101 real-life stories will delight cat lovers of all kinds. You’ll laugh a lot, tear up at times, and nod your head in recognition as you read these tales about the wonderful experience of sharing life with a cat. Part of the proceeds go to support the work of American Humane, providing a better life for cats everywhere.

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Life Lessons from the Cat


  1. Thanks Heather for this opportunity! I work 10-7 today so I’ll be checking for comments as able. Mary Findley

  2. I love it when we learn lessons from unexpected teachers! Thank you for sharing those insights, Mary. I loved getting a glimpse into your life too. Now I want to know more ? So thankful to be part of this community with you and all of these other amazing women.

  3. This is such an awesome post! I love both cats and dogs too, and my husband is a truck driver so that part was neat to read. Thanks so much for sharing these insights full of wisdom. God bless!

  4. This is such a sweet post! I’m a cat person and a dog person, although I’ll tell anyone that I wouldn’t trade my Siamese for the world. They can be great friends!

  5. What a fun post and a special cat that God is using in your family’s life! I would love to know more about a cat in our neighborhood. The owner has a dog and this cat. When she walks the dog, the cat follows as if she is being “walked.” But we know the difference between being walked versus follow. Cats are very independent and choose to love us!

    1. Right now Ruthie is running up and down the stairs like a crazy woman. I was doing laundry and carrying finished loads up and down, at a more dignified pace, of course, but she tries to encourage me to make such tasks exercise by pushing myself a bit more. Yet another example of her good influence!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie. We had dogs when I was growing up and we hope to have a couple again when hubby retires in a few years. Hope Ruthie likes them!

  6. I like your lessons learned list!
    I would like to perfect the mood-lifter thing myself. Cats are much more uninhibited than we can be with all our fears of not being accepted if we act weird. But kindness certainly can go a long way to lift the mood of another person.

  7. Life is about balance; I love this because it is so true. We need to learn to give a little so we can get a little in return. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

  8. Awe I love Ruthie already! I would’ve never thought of a service cat but they are definitely smart. I love how God teaches us through nature. I often realize how God wants to spend time with us by how much my dogs just want to hang out with me. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I am so thankful for all these kind comments on the post, and the share by Thankful Thursdays! Sorry I go behind on responding. Ruthie says thank you too!

  10. I love the cat analogy. As women, there are times when we should acknowledge that our men possess similar attributes as well. They are there when we need them, they don’t want to be smothered. They hate a lot noise as in our bickering and complaining. They want to protect, yet they don’t want to be smothered. They love to be the problem solver, stop bringing him all your personal and job issues that he can’t solve. Give those to God!

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