What My Cat Taught Me About Embracing Your Quirks

My cat Jezzy was a real trip. I say “was” rather than “is” because a week ago Jezzy didn’t come home. Sadness. She went out to play in our yard, and never made it home. My hunch is that a larger animal got her. We do live in the woods. And the cycle of life is a reality for all of us …

Still, losing an animal sucks.

We adopted Jezebel (Jezzy for short) back in 2009, when my oldest son Sean was 6 months old and we were living in New York City. At that time, my husband Steven was volunteering at a cat adoption center, and you know how that goes. We ended up taking in a few kitties who needed homes.

Jezzy had just the right temperament to fit in well with our two older cats Cricket and Cali.  She was sweet, curious, and totally fine to let the two older boys to run the show. She quickly became the “little sister” of the cats.

All seemed “normal” with her for the first year. Then all of the sudden, she decided she didn’t want to use the litter box. Nope, it didn’t matter that most cats use a box, it just wasn’t for her.

Moving from NYC to the Berkshires in Massachusetts only made this issue worse. Cats aren’t big fans of change.

We tried everything to get her to “be like everyone else.” Her own litter box. Different litter. Treats. Putting her in the box and telling her why it was so important to use it. Taking her to the vet to have her checked out to ensure she was healthy.

She wasn’t having it.

It got so bad that my husband and I even consulted with a pet psychic (yup!) to get insight on Jezzy. The psychic told us that Jezzy just doesn’t like litter. It was that simple.

We accepted her as she was. Every morning we were cleaning up poop. Although she liked going outside to play, she loved going to the bathroom in our bathroom sinks!

Yes, Jezzy truly marched to the beat of her own drummer.

She taught me so much about being who you are, no matter if it’s not “normal” or what other people want from you. Jezzy was comfortable with her quirks. She didn’t apologize for them. She just was who she was. I’ll always love her for that.

I won’t pretend I loved cleaning up her mess everyday. I didn’t. It was really frustrating. But sometimes that’s how life and business goes: it’s frustrating! It can be confusing, tough, ugh. But seriously, that’s how you grow.

And growth is why we are ALL here.

Here’s what we can ALL learn from Jezzy, a sweet little soul who full-on embraced who she was:

• Don’t apologize for who you are. What makes you different makes you special. Being quirky is cool.

• Just because everyone else does it one way, doesn’t mean you have to.

• When integrating into a new group, be curious and open to making new friends.

• Go on adventures and explore who you are in the world.

• Rest when you’re tired.

• Be sweet, yet strong.

• If something doesn’t agree with you, walk in another direction.

• Live each day as if it is your last on earth.

“We will miss you, sweet Jezzy! Give Cali a big hug when you see him in kitty heaven. Cricket will be okay. We will make sure he’s got more cats in his life until he gets to see you two again.”

How about you? What have your animals taught you about life and how to show up in your business? Please share below. Animals are such a gift.

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