The Teachings of Hattie McCat

In August, I had a strange dream. In that dream, I was told that it was time for us to get a cat again.

Again? Why now? It seemed like an odd thing to hear in a dream.

Our last cat, Sbeckles (yes, spelled correctly), died almost seven years ago. While she was the family’s cat, truly she was Sam and Ben’s cat. And even though she was smelly, not-very-smart, often dirty, and couldn’t purr to save her life, we were heartbroken when it was her time to transition onward because she was a living link to Sam. We had no intention of ever getting another cat after Sbeckles…

Then I had this dream. And we got a kitten. A teeny, tiny, light gray striped female kitten. We named her Hattie in a nod to one of our favorite Twiddle songs.

This was Hattie on her second day with us, when she fell asleep after figuring out how to climb stairs. That was our first teaching from Hattie — when you are tired, rest!

Time has passed, and Hattie has grown and grown. Each day we marvel at her learning and her personality. She brings us joy and laughter, and more love than we can express.

What else has Hattie taught us?

Exploring is good! This is Hattie exploring her own litter box…

She has also taught us to be in the moment. For example, when I am writing and she thinks it is time to take a moment to be with her, she will do anything to press that point, such as coming up under the laptop.

She has also taught us about play. Each morning, we have to play fetch with her, and she will bring us her mouse over and over, dropping it at our feet so we can throw it one more time.

She has taught us about companionship, and the benefit of being a quiet and attentive presence with us. This is Hattie keeping me company while I work.

That dream, telling us to get a kitten, was truly a gift, as was finding Hattie McCat.

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