Why Your Pets Are So Happy. And What You Can Learn About Happiness From Them

Are your cats really happy? There’s a reason for that. And your cats can teach you to be happy too. 

 

 

My cats are crazy happy. All three and a half of them.

Willow. Sebastian. Pumpkin—those are our indoor kitties—and Matey, who actually is not our cat. He lives with a little old lady up the road. But we help her look after him.

Our three and a half cats. All of them happy. They’re little bundles of joy. It’s like they’re drip-fed dopamine.

Now I’m not a masters degree psychologist or anything. Pretty much just a regular dude running a website. But for my two cents I reckon there’s a lot to learn from cats and animals and their general impenetrable happiness.

I mean, you won’t find cats that are suffering anxiety, or that have a history of depression. You won’t even find many cats that are stressed (obviously there are some, because there are some god-awful pet owners). For the most part, cats are happy.

And it is not because they’re stupid.

No.

Cats and animals definitely are not stupid.

I mean let’s put it like this. If they’re stupid and I’m intelligent, then why the heck am I the one constantly running around feeding them, scooping their poop-nuggets out of their litter tray, and working to earn their upkeep?

If I were intelligent and they were stupid, things would be the other way around. They would be feeding me and cleaning up my poop… er…

I digress.

Animals are not stupid. Animals are intelligent. So their happiness has nothing to do with them lacking intelligence.

So what, O’ what, is it that makes animals like my cats happy when we humans are often stressed or depressed or just plain moody?

 

Mindfulness.

It’s all about mindfulness.

 

 

Now you might be wondering “What exactly is mindfulness”? So let’s hand it over to Merriam Webster for just a couple ticks here.

 

MINDFULNESS: “The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis”.

Thanks, Merriam Webster. I always knew you’d be there for me when I needed you.

 

So yeah. Mindfulness is all about a pure state of awareness. It’s about not being bogged down in your thoughts. It’s about just being. (And it just so happens that mindfulness and meditation are the best things for anxiety. More on that in a sec).

 

Like when my two little black cats Willow and Sebastian stare at a bug that’s leisurely crawling up the wall, and they’re so damn fascinated and amazed by it. That’s mindfulness.

 

 

Or when Pumpkin rolls over on his back so I can rub his tummy like crazy and he purrs so loudly he sounds like a steam train. That’s mindfulness.

Or when Matey, our outdoor cat, gazes up at me with those big ol’ yellow eyes and he’s so full of love just to have a friend there feeding him. That’s mindfulness.

Cats are always mindful. They just exist in the moment. They’re not worried about work. They’re not stressing over the future. They’re just living in the moment. So, why not be like a cat. Stop thinking and start living.

 

Cats are happy because they just are. They’re mindful. Living in the moment. That’s all. And far from being stupid, that’s a pretty damn wise mentality to have.

 

 

Paul Martin Harrison

Im on a mission to spread spirituality and enlightenment. How? By writing and teaching. You guys asked me to write a book that will teach you how to meditate properly and how to find enlightenment. Guess what? The book is out now. It's called Welcome To Silence : A Practical Guide To Mindfulness And Meditation.