Minimalist Monday: Lessons Learned From My Cat. A Tribute To Rushette

Happy Monday, everyone!     2014-05-01 21.09.15

It is good to be back at the blog. My week hiatus from blogging was a bit unexpected but my week became rather bogged down with caring for my ailing cat, Rushette. Rushette had developed a rare and aggressive form of oral melanoma.  Sadly, I had to say “goodby” to Rushette on Saturday. Her suffering had just become too great. It is during these times that I am reminded that finding joy in everyday life means embracing the times that are difficult and painful as part of the total human experience. Love means accepting the transient nature of this world and knowing that everything is in a constant state or change. This knowledge does not make loss any easier but I do think it makes us more compassionate, and if we are mindful, more appreciative of the present moment.

Rushette was my mom’s cat and I adopted her when my mom passed away. For 11.5 of her almost 14 years she was a constant companion to me. A part of my home and my heart. Each of my four-legged “kids” since I was a child has taught me valuable life lessons and Rushette was no exception. She was a great teacher for me. So, in honor of my sweet kitty, I thought I would share some of the life lessons learned from Rushette. I know that  what I have learned from her has helped me in creating a simpler and more meaningful life.

Declare yourself queen ( or king) of your domain. I moved into Rushette’s house. She was my mom’s cat and when I moved in to my mom’s house Rushette was already its primary resident. She made it clear that she owned the place and was gracious in allowing me to take up residence in her kingdom. I was a good servant and she quickly entrusted me with taking care of her personal palace. As the years have past I have begun to follow her example of taking charge of my surroundings and ruling my life. My kingdom may be very modest but it is mine to rule to the best of my ability.

The best place to be is close to someone you love and snuggling is not an option. Rushette was a lap cat and she demanded that she fit on my lap no matter what task I was trying to accomplish. She would purr in contentment the moment she snuggled into a ball somewhere on my body. Of course, at night she often felt that sleeping on me was much more preferable to sleeping near me. This was annoying and often uncomfortable for me, but her look of contentment and wet nose kisses somehow made it tolerable. Sometimes it is enough just to be near those we care about.

Get up earlier than necessary. Like with many cats, Rushette knew when I needed to get up. She would then promptly want her breakfast about a half an hour earlier than my alarm was set. There was no escaping her demands for food. She usually timed it so that going back to bed was a waste of time. I hate to admit it but her persistence in getting me out of bed earlier than needed often made for much smoother running mornings for me.

Be selective with those you allow to get to know you better. Only my closest friends ever really saw Rushette. ( The same is still true for my other cat, Gracie.) She was not king on letting her presence known to everyone. Rushette would always hide when people came over to my house. Often, she was close by but just out of sight, looking around the corner and making observations about the person or persons in my home. Friends and family would have to come over often or stay for hours before she may come out and sit in the middle of the room. I do not think we should all be ‘fraidy cats”  but I do believe that using discretion on who we allow into our lives is wise.

Don’t be stingy with the catnip. By catnip I mean life’s simple pleasures. Catnip is only a couple of dollars but a small amount can bring hours of joy to any feline. So whether it is a cup of coffee or tea, a hike in nature, an afternoon with friends, or anything that brings a smile to your face, indulge in a simple pleasures of life. Live in the moment.

For those of you who are wondering, I have not decided whether I will adopt another cat. I still have Gracie and I do not know at this point if she will be lonely or welcome the undivided attention. She and Rushette had an agreement of tolerance but not affection. My schedule does not allow time for a dog right now. I also know I would like to travel more in coming years and am wondering if it is time to think about life free of pets as I move through my 50’s and towards my 60’s. On the flip side, I have always had pets and considered them my family. I think it is fair to say I have a lot to consider the next couple of years about what kind of lifestyle I want to pursue. It is good to know I do not have to make an immediate decision. Now, no one show me a pic of a cute puppy or kitten in need of a home! I have to think with a clear head. 🙂

As always, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂

Until next time,




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