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My lessons with Maisie

Towards the end of last year a friend asked me if I wanted a cat, her name was Maisie and her owner was no longer able to look after her.


My first reaction was no. I’m very used to cats, we always had at least 5 cats when I was growing up and I hadn’t had a cat since my last one died about 8 or 9 years ago.


But they couldn’t find anyone to take Maisie. She was about 18 and a bit deaf. I then had a change of heart, I decided to say yes. I thought I would take her and try to find someone who wanted her. Of course, she wasn’t going anywhere and we have grown quite fond of each other over the past few months. It’s now been 6 months now and Maisie is still with me. Despite her age, she is a beautiful and a lovely cat. Unlike a lot of cats she doesn’t scratch the furniture at all which is a blessing. However, that doesn’t mean she is totally perfect.


It hasn’t been completely straight forward. Maisie came from a home with just one person who was unable to move around easily. So Maisie could just doze with her person all day long.


Both our lives changed considerably when she came to live with me. I am very active and never sit still for very long, so this has been a learning curve for both of us! She found that so irritating and would get up and follow me into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, then follow me back into the office where she didn’t have a designated sleeping place. I put one of her blankets down, she still didn’t want to be there. Sometimes she would follow me closely and I’d trip over her, or, even worse, stepping on her. Causing her to find a hiding place and try to work out if that was a one off, or if I had suddenly turned into a cat hater.


Sitting on my desk between me and the laptop seemed to be her favourite place to be, there she would get my full attention… Or even getting between me and my exercise video!

Now I don’t know if over the years since my last cat I have got thoroughly selfish, which is a worrying thought. I would like to think that I am a normal human and I am having to accommodate the needs of a small animal after adjusting to life without a cat.



One of the plusses is Maisie’s love of being with people, I did notice when I had 6 people in the sitting room she was perfectly happy and comfortable. She sat in the middle of the room enjoying the adoration from all around.


It has been a bit of a learning curve for both of us, if I’m sitting getting on with something on the computer, she might come in to remind me she needs feeding, which can get a bit irritating when I’m trying to concentrate on something. But then she didn’t ask to live here with me so who is right?


I can’t say that this has been easy or comfortable for either of us. We were both coming to this situation from a completely opposite point of view.


Both of us have learnt to be a bit patient and accommodate the others needs and wants. I have noticed that Maisie is more patient with me. Of course, I am used to going out and maybe staying out all day, or perhaps going away for a few days. Now I need to consider Maisie too.


So my take away thoughts are that we can learn from our relationships with animals:


Adaptability and flexibility –Maisie and I had to adapt to each other’s routines and habits, to get on well. As in coaching we often need to embrace change and flexibility. Adapting to new situations can lead to growth and a better understanding of ourselves and others.


Patience and understanding – Patience is the key when dealing with new challenges, adjusting to a new pet as well as aiming towards goals. Taking the time to understand and respect the needs of others can really improve relationships.


Creating a supportive environment – I created a comfortable space for Maisie this has really smoothed the way. Doing this allows individuals, cats and of course humans to feel safe, and happy.

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