Stop Searching for Boxes, You’re Not an F*ing Cat.

by Gina Stogran on July 25, 2021
Our two kittens cuddling. Mishka on the left, a black tortie with splashes of caramel and ivory. Dagny on the right, a bengal mix with golden caramel swirls.

I’ve never been a “cat person”. My family always had a dog or two. So naturally, not long after moving into our first home, I convinced my husband that we needed a dog. If he were telling this story he may have used a term other than convinced, like maybe tricked or forced. There may have also been tears.

Anyway… About a year into dog ownership we worried that our pup was lonely while we were at work, and one became two. They were both Chihuahuas, so super needy and unfriendly at times (well, most of the time). For 14 years they completed our little family, and when it was their time, we did the hard thing. The HARDEST thing. We swore we would never go through that again. We just couldn’t.

Our first dog, Marty Aka Toots. A black and white chihuahua.
Our second pup, Mandy. A black semi-long hair chihuahua.
Our two 14 year old chihuahuas together on the couch in their final year with our family.

Fast forward a year. This is where the cat comes in…

We were finally able to hear past the silence in the house most days. That is until the quarantine of 2020. Don’t get me wrong, we really enjoyed that time together, but the silence grew louder. Were we ready? Maybe. No. No, Maybe we shouldn’t. We said we wouldn’t go through the heartache of losing a pet again.

So we did what any responsible adult would do to ease the pain, we adopted not one but two kittens (you know, so they wouldn’t get lonely.) Talk about jumping into unfamiliar territory! Cats are NOTHING like dogs. They have the curiosity and playfulness of a toddler with the attitude of a tween. They are also hilarious and super lovey, so we don’t regret the decision.

Mishka and Dagny, just two kittens playing in a jacket they threw on the floor.
Mishka and Dagny cuddly kittens.

Cats are the most free and unapologetic creatures I have ever had the pleasure of observing. They do what they want when they want. Take what they want. Do unexplainable bizarre things. Play, and fight, and play again. They rest when they need to (usually in the doorway or on top of the kitchen cabinets). Cats will demand love when they need it. They don’t give a shit about how ridiculous they look and they own all of it. If there is a box nearby, damn it, they are getting into it empty or not.

Mishka our cat hanging out on top of the kitchen cabinets where she often falls asleep.

The cat’s primal need to get in the box is as deeply rooted as our need to fit in. We go mad trying to find the box full of our people. We quickly do what is expected of us while accepting their beliefs and values as our own, even turning those away who don’t. The fact of the matter is, anyone who only sees you because of your box will never truly see YOU. You are so much more.

Conformity is the death of creativity, innovation, ideas, and growth. Those who made history, made a difference, or offered new perspectives and ideas… they didn’t hop in another’s box. They didn’t let others define who they are.

If you want to be happy, just be yourself. Do the things, visit the places, make the art, and do it all your way. Why not? You don’t owe an explanation to anyone. No more boxes. No more predetermined outcomes. Enjoy the ride and you’ll more often than not end up right where you need to be.

Ok. Ok. Maybe we should somewhat follow the way of the cat. Go ahead and push that pen off the table. The papers too. Even when someone is watching. Just please, please ignore the box. Trust me, the REAL you won’t fit.

Black and white photo of 2 cats sitting in a window behind the blinds

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