Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me

I’ve been a cat lover for as long as I remember.

When I was a little girl I tried to interact with a family friend’s cat, who immediately ran away from me as I vied for her attention.  “Well, this isn’t fun,” my four year old self thought.

We finally got a cat of our own, Kattie, when I was seven years old.  My mom took care of all the “heavy lifting;” the bills, the doctor appointments, and of course, the litter box.  Kattie wasn’t as cuddly as I would have hoped, though- and it was probably because I wasn’t patient with her.

I’ve lived with a variety of cats over the years, from Kattie to Cali, and later in Boston when I helped care for Clarissa and Tuxedo.  Now, at 34 years old, I decided to adopt a cat of my very own- and I’m his sole caretaker and companion.

Ollie and I have only been each other’s partners for a few days now, but he’s teaching me important lessons all of the time.

Before meeting me, he came from a hoarding situation and lived at the humane society for seven long months.  It wasn’t his favorite place, and many people overlooked him because of his shy nature.  However, as soon as I met him, there was something special- and I was thrilled to be able to give him a forever home.

He may have cowered away from me at first, but I understood he was scared.  I didn’t know what happened to him in the past, and much like a person, he probably had every reason to shy away from unknown people.  Oh, Ollie- how I relate.

Even though I’d love him to want to hop on my bed and give me affection, I know it will take him time.  Thanks to Ollie, I’m learning to be even more gentle, patient, and responsible.

He’s made me think about caring for someone other than myself, and at times, care for myself even more.  I’m more conscious of my home, my finances, and spending enough time with him.

We all have pain in our past, whether it’s loss, trauma, addiction, or loneliness.  Cats are no different.  He may be irresistibly cute, but I need to remember to respect his space, just like I would want from a person.

We’ve enjoyed sitting still together, playing with his bird toy, and exploring my townhouse.  I’ve found him in unexpected places, and he’s never failed to make me laugh or smile.

Learning to care for love a little being has been one of my biggest joys, and he gives me something to look forward to every single day.  I may not have any interest in having a human child, but I’m absolutely content with my beautiful fur baby.

Cat Lady Thanksgiving

When I first started my blog shortly after moving to Boston, I compared myself to Holly Golightly, alone in the city, having a Cat Lady Christmas.

At the time I felt misunderstood and lost, but I explored the city for comfort, gazed inside glistening windows, and treated myself to a bachelorette holiday, complete with pizza and shopping.  It sounded pretty good at the time, but since that week in 2016, I’ve grown leaps and bounds… and have come a long way.

When I started Mindful in Style, I began to accept myself and share who I really was.

It wasn’t an easy three years- I struggled with anxiety, letting people get close to me, alcohol, and pains of the past.  While living in Boston, however, I learned to let people love me, to feel comfortable in my own skin, and to be vulnerable.  While it used to be easier to keep others at arm’s length, I’ve learned the power of connection- and how embodying my authentic self attracts people who appreciate the true person I am.

Since moving home, I’ve been filled with gratitude for the person I became while living in Boston, and I’ve forgiven myself for the mistakes I have made.  Even though it was a wonderful experience, I know I’m right where I belong- and I finally became ready to buy some furniture and give the cat a name.

This Thanksgiving I’m extremely thankful to be with family, to have a home of my very own, and to have the newest member of the family, Ollie, to share it with me.

No longer feeling misunderstood and lost, I know I am right where I belong.

Ollie Orlando

Meet Oliver!

I brought Ollie home after his long (but loving) seven month stay at the Cherryland Humane Society.

Formerly Orlando, Ollie Orlando is now enjoying his forever home with me.

On his first day, he immediately ran behind my living room couch. After staying there for an hour, I brought him upstairs to my office (temporarily the “safe room”) to ease into townhouse life. He certainly has the life here, but it’s a lot for him to handle all at once.

I’m so grateful to have found Ollie; I needed him as much as he needed me. As much as I love living alone, I have wanted a feline companion of my own for as long as I can remember.

He is a shy but affectionate cat who loves gazing out the window at the trees, getting scratches on his head, and finding hiding spaces to keep him safe.

Don’t worry, little one, I will take good care of you. ❤️