Life with Lola - how our cat taught me to appreciate the little things in life

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I still find it weird to think that we have a cat. For my entire life I’ve been a dog person - we always had a dog growing up, from Alfie, the red Staffordshire bull terrier who would curl up with me for a nap when I was toddler, to Bert, the tired grey Bedlington terrier who would greet me at the door with cuddles whenever I returned home from uni for the holidays.

I was always adamant that if Sam and I were to get a pet, it would be a dog. In my eyes dogs were loveable and playful and loyal, all traits that I’d never really associated with cats, who always seemed far more independent. But when the opportunity arose to rescue a tiny little kitten who had been abandoned in a box in a car park with the rest of the litter, we couldn’t say no.

We brought our little scrappy bundle home not really knowing a whole lot about cats, if I’m completely honest. We’d asked some friends for advice, and had bought all of the necessary things that cats need like a litter tray and a bed to sleep in, but it’s safe to say that we were winging it. Dogs I knew, but cats were a completely different ball game.

Lola was skittish at first, overwhelmed by her new home and all of the new sounds and smells that came with it, but within a couple of days she started to trust us, and from there our bond began to blossom. We quickly learnt that cats could be just as loveable, playful and loyal as dogs, and before long, Sam and I were head over heels in love with her.

And my love for Lola has only deepened the longer she’s been a part of our family. Adopting her and becoming a pet owner has brought me infinite joy, but it’s also taught me a lot too. It’s taught me about patience and responsibility, about learning to put somebody else’s needs above my own. But most of all, our cat has taught me to appreciate the small things in life.

That might sound a little silly or exaggerated, but it’s true. As someone who tends to live life at 100 miles per hour, Lola reminds me to slow down and live in the moment for a little while. Her routine provides those tiny prompts that I need to drag me back into the present moment and to take the little breather I sometimes need.

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Take the mornings for example - I used to be up and out of bed as soon as my alarm went off, rushing to get to my desk and get started with the day. I’d be scrolling Instagram and checking my emails before I’d even wiped the sleep from my eyes, but Lola quickly put a stop to that. As soon as she hears Sam or I stirring, she jumps straight on the bed, snuggles in between us and demands a cuddle. She’s forced us to slow down our mornings, to begin the day with a little bit of family time, and that alone has been a game changer. Nowadays, before I even get out of bed, I’ve already taken a deep breath and counted my blessings.

It’s a similar story whenever I get home from work. As soon as she hears our keys jangling in the door, Lola will come trotting into the kitchen, greeting us with her little mews and purrs. Whatever stresses and challenges the day might have brought with it are quickly forgotten when she rubs her head against your legs or looks up at you with her big brown eyes.

And on the days when I work from home, it’s Lola who reminds me to stop and take pause throughout the day. It’s so easy when you work by yourself to spend the entire day with your head in your laptop, powering through the to do list and forgetting to take a break. But every couple of hours or so, she’ll jump up into my lap, forcing me to down tools and scratch her head for a little while.

Lola reminds me that sometimes we all need a little break every now then, and she forces me to slow down and enjoy the moment. In appreciating those little moments I have become a happier and more content person, and I’ve learnt so much about what’s truly important in life. I never expected that getting a pet could teach me so much or become such a big part of our lives, but reading the Petplan Pet Census 2018 I can see that we aren’t alone! Our little cat has brought us so much joy, and it’s lovely to read about other people’s pethood stories too.

Do you have a pet? What have they taught you about life?

This post is in conjunction with Petplan Pet Insurance, but all thoughts are my own