Your Cat Shows Empathy
’When you believe there is no love in the world, look into the eyes of the cat in your lap’
OLD WELSH PROVERB
Those who have a cat know this: they will never refuse to lend an ear. Are we capable of such altruism? Of such ability to listen? Of such empathy towards others, as cats are when they look at us?
We are very much in their shadow when it comes to empathy, it must be said. Even with the best will in the world, we sometimes find it difficult to sincerely listen to others’ problems, to put ourselves in their shoes, so overwhelmed are we by our own issues.
Cats have this innate power, this benevolence towards us, this sensing of our unease even when we don’t talk to them, and they adopt protective and soothing attitudes towards us.
But beyond the silent listening that a psychotherapist might provide, cats seem to understand our problems, repeating through their gaze: ’This too shall pass’, while filling our emotional emptiness.
We could learn much about empathy and listening from cats, if we could just get past our self-absorption, and reach out our hands and lend our ears to others more than we do.
When we truly listen to others, we give as much as we receive, sometimes without realising.
Learn how to listen in order to be listened to, and learn how to give in order to receive.
Food for Thought
’A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for the last three he stays’