I was watching some local cats the other night, and realised, there's a lot we as humans can learn from some of these creatures. For example, the other night, two local cats were sitting in the road outside my house. One clearly was all stressed up and feeling territorial, posturing and growling at the other cat, right in it's face, making it clear it was less than happy.
The second cat, though, was just sitting there, and I do mean just. It was doing nothing, there was no twitch of the tail, no response to the growling cat, no movement at all. It simply sat there. The first cat carried on for some time, posturing and growling, but getting no response. After several minutes it gave up and slowly walked off.
The second cat still sat there, as if oblivious to anything having happened.
I admire that second cat, his ability not to get stressed out by threats of attack, but to calmly take it all in his stride. This isn't the first time I've seen this cat behave this way - it's the same whenever he gets threatened by another cat, he just sits there calmly until the other cat goes away.
Also, who hasn't seen a cat sleeping? Anyone who owns a cat knows this is something they can do for up to 20 hours a day. Is it laziness? I don't think so. Most cats are pretty fit and flexible, able to jump quite high, especially considering their size, able to run, fast, at a moments notice. No, cats aren't lazy, they're just good at energy conservation - if you don't need to expend that energy, then why bother? They do exercise, and they never forget to stretch before moving off. Who of us can say we remember to stretch before making demands on our muscles? Most of us get out of bed in the morning without any preparation of our bodies for what we expect of them. Yet a cat always remembers.
Maybe they're brighter than we realise, or maybe we've just lost touch with the basic parts of our brains and lives. Cats know when it's going to rain, when there's storm coming. They don't need to listen to a weather forecast. It's said that our ancestors could do the same, when we lived that hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Yet, who amongst us now could say what the weather's going to be like, unless we see those dark clouds building on the horizon. Nine times out of ten, we have no idea what weather the day will bring. We can make a guess - it's summer, the chances are it'll be warm, or it's winter, the chances are it'll be cold, or even, it's the UK, the chances are it'll rain, but we don't know. Where and when did we lose this skill that many animals have retained?
Perhaps man is not so great ;-)