The Way Of The Cat
Recently, a couple of pigeons have been roosting in trees at the bottom of the garden. They have taken to visiting my lawn to peck and prod at insects in the grass and borders. My cat, like all cats, likes to chase butterflies, bees and all manner of things that fly and flutter. The pigeons are no exception.
And so, Bailey (my cat) has started to mimic the grand designs of big cats who live on the Serengeti. Or, to be precise, Bailey has decided to stalk the pigeons.
To be fair, the pigeons seem suitably unperturbed by Bailey and show their avian contempt by walking around the garden. Meanwhile, Bailey adopts low-to-the-ground stealth manoeuvres and stalks the pigeons. She fails – always. They always fly away.
After each failure, Bailey looks ambivalent. Optimistically assuming in her failure that there is always another day. The pigeons, I suppose, think, “Well, at least she’s a trier.”
And isn’t that the point? Not that Bailey sees the futility in her endeavours, it’s the fact that two facets of her little personality are ones that have been there since birth. First, it is part of her nature and second, failure now - doesn’t preclude success in the future.
And as human beings, we are a little like that. Part of our nature is to thrive and always reach for something more purposeful, fulfilling, and meaningful. And despite setbacks, naysayers, failures and obstructions, we are more deeply resilient and courageous as humans than we can imagine.
Where we may differ from our beloved animal friends, is that we place barriers in the way of our self-belief. For animals, there is no deep or lingering disappointment if they fail, just a subconscious acknowledgement they have gained valuable experience.
There is no recrimination, no drop in self-esteem and no forensic investigation of personality, character or flaws in competency. Just a calm acceptance that there will be another day…. or not. Either way – it’s all good.
If we can really appreciate that the depth of our resilience is greater than any failure we experience, then we are well on our way to embracing our true nature and potential. Which is, by the way, greater than we might imagine. I say, let us all follow the way of the cat. And that includes, Bailey!