1. Imperfections are Beautiful
My stunning cat, Phoebe, is a lady. She's a lady with an orange mustache and accompanying goatee. A lot of women would be upset by the presence of facial hair; a lot of women are upset by the presence of facial hair and get it waxed. But not Phoebe. She works that 'stache with the grace, confidence, and style only a strong, independent woman can. And she is all the more magnificent because of it.
2. Go For What You Want
Dogs do what they're told. Cats do what they want, despite what they're told. Humans do what their cats tell them to do.
If Phoebe wants to flip a full bowl of water over, then get a fresh refill, she will. If Phoebe wants me on the couch, not in the kitchen, she will sheepdog me until I obey. And if Phoebe wants to be pet, she will push my hand onto her head with unwavering commitment until she is drooling in happiness. (The drooling is a real thing she does; the vet said it's normal)
There is no plan B, there is no giving up; she never lets someone (namely me) telling her," no" deter her. And look what can be accomplished when there is no sense or fear of "failure."
3. Be Vulnerable
A cat showing you its belly is the ultimate performance of trust. Belly Up is a vulnerable position for a feline, so the frequency with which a cat rolls over for you is a direct indication of its comfort level.
For Phoebe, a roll onto her back is nothing if not a typical greeting for me. And it is a wonderful thing knowing that an otherwise annoyingly independent animal, not to mention skittish rescue, puts that much faith in me.
It also automatically makes it effortless for me to trust her. Even the most terrified-of-cats-people would find it hard to stay afraid of anything in such a vulnerable position. And how comfortable does it feel opening up to something or someone that opens up to you first?
4. Love Unconditionally
It does not matter if I accidentally step on her paw or purposely reprimand her for being a brat, nor if I reject her AM wakeup calls or am sick and un-showered, Phoebe loves me unconditionally. Nothing can upset her enough that she doesn't still want my constant attention; no fight is too big that more than a minute won't solve it.
She accepts me in spite of all my flaws because one has nothing to do with the other.