5 Life Lessons Grumpy Cat Taught Me

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1) Wishes can come true

We all have dreams and goals but real wisdom is knowing when to push and when to go with the flow. When unfortunate timing crushed my chances of a scheduled one-on-one interview with Grumpy Cat before the recent Friskies Awards, I channeled my inner Grumpy Cat and asked: What would Grumpy Cat do? Sure, she might appear miffed or frownie-faced but she wouldn’t pull a hissy fit or feel sorry for herself.  She’s might say, what is, is or go with the flow. She has no ego. She doesn’t care what people think of her. Grumpy Cat serenely endured endless photo ops with strangers and at the end of the evening, not only did she end up in my arms as I’d wished for, but her mom, Tabatha Bundesen snapped photos of me with Grumpy Cat after the crowds had gone.

Sometimes wishes come true but not in the way we expect. By surrendering to the flow of what is, we may get more than our original wish.

Layla Morgan Wilde with Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat has a lot to teach

2) The grass or catnip isn’t greener on the other side

Grumpy Cat won a Lifetime Achievement Awards at The Friskies. Plus the feline uber-achiever inked a big endorsement deal as the spokescat for Friskies, has a New York Times best-selling book, a feature film deal, launched Grumpuccino, a coffee drink and countless T-shirts, plush toys and other branded Grumpy Cat merchandise. All within a year. It’s enough to make the rest of us look like couch potato losers. Why waste time and energy being resentful, angry or jealous? The grass or catnip isn’t greener on the other side. It’s okay to dream big but it dreams must be rooted in reality. By accepting our limitations and deciding to be happy anyway, who knows what unexpected rewards are waiting to be reaped?

3)  Our Body Knows Best

Our bodies are constantly communicating valuable info, if we listen. By listening, we naturally tune into our body clock. There are early birds and night owls and it turns out both Grumpy Cat and I are night owls. She is famous for being dozy during the day even during media appearances but perks up at night demanding attention and play between 3 and 6 am. She and those around her respect her natural rhythms. Mornings are my grumpiest and instead of forcing nature, I schedule creative work later in the day and evening. While most may not have as flexible a schedule as mine, we don’t need to be slaves to an alarm clock. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Identify when you are the most productive, creative or energetic and make the most of those hours. Don’t feel guilty about taking a nap during the day instead of a coffee break if that’s what your body needs. Listen to your body. Grumpy Cat sleeps when she’s sleepy and plays when she’s perky. There’s wisdom in respecting your natural rhythms whether human or feline.

4) We Aren’t Perfect but purrfectly unique

The classic idiom: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree or that kids turn out like their parents’ isn’t always true. In fact, thinking we’re destined to turn out like our parents can be self-defeating or limiting. Grumpy Cat and her brother Pokey were born to a perfectly normal and lovely Calico mom named Callie. Their father, likely a feral, is an unknown influence. While Grumpy Cat had normal parents she was born with genetic issues including dwarfism. Grumpy Cat doesn’t lament that her legs are too short or that she looks funny. The apple fell far from the tree and it’s the best thing that could have happened to her. We are not our parents. We are all unique. By recognizing we are individuals with a separate destiny from our parents frees us to be ourselves. We Aren’t Perfect but purrfectly unique

5) Don’t Worry, be Happy

Grumpy Cat is famous for saying no. Despite her deceptive perma-frown, she’s isn’t worried, she’s happy-go-lucky. By making people smile and sharing it with others makes everyone happy. She knows life isn’t about pleasing everyone. She doesn’t worry what people think of her. It’s impossible to please everyone and people –pleasers are some of the unhappiest people on the planet. When you feel over-burdened and put upon, don’t feel guilty by saying no. It means saying yes to honoring your limits.

Grumpy Cat, like all cats knows how to live in the moment– it’s where happiness lives. Happiness isn’t about being perfect; it’s about accepting imperfection and making the choice to be happy. It’s an every day moment-by-moment choice. Life is too short. She’d say: Don’t worry, be happy.

Layla Morgan Wilde is the writer, photographer and holistic cat behaviorist behind Cat Wisdom 101. Head over to read more about her cats and their lives.