Conscious Cat

March 23, 2014 19 Comments

Conscious Cat Sunday: Small Changes

Posted by Ingrid

cats_Small_changes

And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time. – Libba Bray

I love my life. I’m blessed with my two beautiful girls, Allegra and Ruby. I get to do work I love every single day. I have wonderful friends. I have a safe, warm home. And yet, as we got another foot of snow on Monday, I started to think about making some big changes. Namely, moving to a warmer climate where I will never have to shovel snow again.

I’ve lived in the same house for the last 30 years, so for me to even start to think about moving is a big deal. I have a love/hate relationship with change. I often think that one of the many reasons why I love cats is that they are creatures of habit who don’t like having their routines disrupted.

Moving right now would be a bad decision for me for a lot of different reasons, not the least of which would be the disruption and stress it would cause to Allegra and Ruby’s lives. And spring is right around the corner, and usually, our winters aren’t this awful. But the fact that the thought even popped into my head made me think about change in general.

While many of us may long for some big changes, it’s not always possible to make these sweeping changes in our lives. But everyone can make small changes.

A small change can be something as simple as arranging your breakfast on a cheerful floral placemat that makes you think of spring instead of eating it standing up at the kitchen counter. It can mean taking an afternoon off to go to a museum to look at beautiful paintings. It can mean spending some time looking through vacation photos.

Even though our cats are creatures of habits, I suspect that they, too, know the value of small changes. Why else would they decide, for no rhyme or reason that we can discern, that a formerly favorite nap spot just won’t do anymore? Maybe it’s because the new spot is even more purrfect?

And therein lies the power of change: it lets you view life from a different perspective. And sometimes, even a minor mindset change can have big results.

Have you been wanting to make some changes to your life? What’s one small thing you can do today to move you closer to your goal?

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19 Responses to “Conscious Cat Sunday: Small Changes”

  1. I am one of those people who love change, especially when it comes to moving. I have owned only one house in my life and that was decades ago. Renting keeps me free, and also limits the number of cats I can have (fortunately).
    When moving isn’t a viable option, I rearrange the entire place I live in. It gives me a lot of satisfaction, and satisfies me. Maybe you would like to try that – at least until Spring shows up, not by the date, but by the weather.

  2. Bernadette says:

    I like the stability and security of my own home but variety in other areas, and even within my home and yard I move things, furniture and art and fixtures, for instance, frequently as I am quickly visually bored with a scene. I find these tiny changes refreshing and exciting as I walk through my space, and joined with the constantly changing seasons, each of which I love for its own treasures, my tiny home can feel new yet familiar each day. As a freelancer I have many customers and many assignments and every day is different, and I remember the drudgery of going to the same job and doing the same thing each day.

    My cats enjoy this habit of mine and it keeps the surroundings refreshed for them as well without making too many changes at once. I like how my cats can make a big deal out of small changes: place a box or a new bed or throw rug on the floor and it’s immediately walked on and slept in and tasted and smelled and observed, thoroughly inspected by each of their senses until it’s become part of their surroundings. Move a chair to another spot and they observe the room in all directions from this new angle.

  3. Win the lottery. If I were to win the lottery I would be moving to Kauai in a FLASH………I would donate money to friends, family, and animals…………and then I would be outta here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. monica ackerman says:

    Moving has been on my mind for about 2 years now and I dread it. My exhusband used to move us every two years to follow a job and when he and I divorce I stayed put. Now that I’v lived in this little duplex for 25 years, the idea of packing up some of it and getting rid of most of it is giving me nightmares. I’ve been planning to move into a lovely apartment in a senior housing complex close to the beach in Half Moon Bay. I’m on the waiting list. But the closer it gets the more I worry. I have to get rid of furniture I love, especially a big desk and china cabinet as well as several big book cases, etc. And the kitties. I’m allowed two cats on move-in but have to sign an agreement not to replace any. Not worried about that. They’re both in good health, in the prime of their lives, and plus: who can tell one black cat from another? Or a grey and white tabby? Ingrid wanting to move to a more temperate climate is totally logical. I have no idea how all of you in this crazy winter have survived with your minds intact. My cute new apartment is all of 550 square feet with no storage space. Small kitchen, big bathroom, medium size living and bedroom. No room for two litterboxes. That will be a challenge. When I reduced from 3 to 2 after Maxxie died, no one seemed to mind but the idea of just one box scares me. Maybe one really big one? They like their dome covered medium size boxes and it seems one prefers one and the other one prefers the other one. I’m open to suggestions.
    I’d also like your opinions about the case of the poor cat Lux who was so aggressive the family was terrified of her. The good news is Jackson Galaxy is on his way there to work with the cat. My first thought was that this poor beautiful cat in a shelter was already condemned to death. Good luck, Jackson. I know you can do it.

    • Ingrid says:

      Half Moon Bay sounds like a beautiful place to live, Monica, but downsizing can be a daunting prospect. As for the litter boxes, can you put one in the bathroom and the second in the bedroom? I’d definitely use the two boxes they’re used to now, even in this small space, at least to start with. Once they’re comfortable in their new surroundings, you can try removing one of them.

      I’ll reserve commenting on the situation with Lux. I feel that this story has been sensationalized by the media, and I don’t know what to believe. I’m glad Jackson will go work with the cat, and the family – if anyone can help fix this situation, he can.

  5. Sue Brandes says:

    I decided to paint to rooms for a change. And get rid of lots of things I had. Would love to move but; things are higher elsewhere so here I stay. I just try to make things new even if it’s used.

  6. My hubby and I have been discussing a move for a few years now, but the downturn in the economy stayed our hand. Now, I have a good job but it’s only minutes from home…a move would add to my commute. Plus, I can visit the kitties at home on my lunch hour; a luxury I’ve dreamed about for years while stuck at my desk with my brown-bag meal at my former employers. However, our house is too big for just two humans and two cats; a smallish, brick ranch would be perfect. Then again, what about my three friendly ferals? How can I move them? And like you, Ingrid, this winter kicked my rear-end, and thoughts of moving to warmer climes, or even a smaller house that doesn’t cost a bundle to heat, has been dancing in my brain for weeks, if not months. The theory of change is interesting, however actually DOING it is another thing entirely for me.

  7. monica ackerman says:

    Me again. Reading your comments and thinking abaout how I really feel about change finally makes me realize that I am resisting change at every corner. Technologically, I’m in the dark ages but have to change my phone every two years which is a nightmare. My computer and phone system at home have remained unchanged for several years now and I’ve driven the same car for 7 years. I don’t want a new compute or a new car. I want everything to stay the same comfortable status I’m used to. But I know I’m swimming upstream and am fighting with my old habits. Change is good, no change means staganation, without change, no progress…..I know all that in my logical mind. My emotional me is still catching up. Today I left the screen door open by mistake while I went into the backyard to change the water in the bird bath and both my indoor kitties carefully maneuvered their way into the carport. When I caught them they immediately made for the back door and appeared happy to be back inside. Chealsey did cast a wistful glance at the closed door but Charlie who recently appeared to be waiting to escape at any opportunity, didn’t seem to mind. Now THAT was a welcome change. Happy week!

    • Ingrid says:

      I think we live in times where change comes at us at such an incredible fast rate, it’s challenging, especially for those of us who weren’t born “wired” for the new technologies.

      And what a scare you had with Chelsea and Charlie getting out – thank goodness they went back inside so easily!

  8. lisa says:

    What I would do to get out of noisy, high stress , NYC, not even our apt offers any respite from the constant barrage of noise. Its like living on high alert 24-7. But my partner thinks NYC is the be all and end all, nowhere else rivals it, he says. Since we have two little furballs I’m enamoured with, it doesn’t look like I’ll be packing it up anytime soon. But after 25 years in this city, I’d welcome a change, I’m burned out. :(

    • Ingrid says:

      NYC is my favorite city in the world, and a few years ago, I seriously considered moving there. But after a few visits, I realized that I couldn’t handle being around noise and people 24/7. There must be some oases of quiet in the city that you could visit to recharge at least occasionally, Lisa? I remember being in one section of Central Park where you couldn’t even see buildings, it was like being in a wilderness somewhere.

      • lisa says:

        Thank you Ingrid, yes there are places to recharge; we live not far from the Cloisters museum and Ft Tryon Park, peaceful areas to visit and appreciate. Wave Hill – next time you are in NYC , is a must see if you haven’t already visited, beautiful gardens overlooking the Hudson. Regardless though, apartment living in the city is overall noisy (neighbors), people love hardwood floors but these old bldgs provide little sound barrier. Home should be a sanctuary , a respite from the outside world and yet inside our home I still feel like we’re living with the outside world! Oh well, one day we will move, likely when we exceed the rent control limit and the apt shoots up to market rate. Such a nice discussion Ingrid, thx, and I loved the piece on Jackson Galaxy’s new kitty toys!!

  9. Judi Daly says:

    After living in the same house for over 40 years, the only way they will get me out is with kicking and screaming–but a change would be a good thing, so I am getting the roof of the garage fixed–which is also a patio that isn’t safe to walk on, anymore. Then I am going to plant all kinds of flowers on the patio. I don’t think it will look like the same place when I am done.

    On the other side of the house, I fixed a stone garden wall that was falling down–there will be new flowers there, too!

    Flowers are a good form of change.
    (This will only work if spring ever gets here.)

    • Ingrid says:

      Your new patio sounds like it’ll be a great way to have a pretty big change yet stay in your home. As for flowers, I know I’ll start feeling better about everything one spring finally arrives!

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