Cat Napping: What Cat’s Can Teach Us About Slowing Down

Whenever I have seen cats along the journey I am reminded to slow down. Slow down in my walking to take in the sun, the rain, the smells, the sights, the delights.

When you slow down you will come to notice that it is the little things like the morning sun and the summer breeze that hold the magic to happiness. Cat Napping: A Cat’s Guide to Slowing Down

Cat on old stone steps in the village of Punte San Martino, Italy.

Cat Napping

As we walk through the summer heat of Italy we are waking up at around four thirty in the morning and beginning to walk in the coolness before the sun rises.

Cats invented the siesta. Humans would do well to imitate more of the ways of the feline species, however, as we and the felines know, we could never purrfect what they know instinctively as they have. Cat in interior decorator’s shopfront window sleeping off the heat of the day. Fidenza, Italy.

Depending on the distance to be covered we aim to complete our daily walk before the fierce late afternoon sun. That way we can fit in an afternoon siesta like the locals and no doubt the cats.

There is so much we can learn from cats about slowing down.

Its hard not to like cats. This one took a little coaxing before I won her confidence. She would arch her back and rub herself on the railing. In time she was purring away. Punte San Martino, Italy.

More Being Less Doing

Cats are highly intelligent creatures. When cats were wild they would spend most of their time relaxing and cat napping, and when they were hungry they would for a short period summon the effort to catch their prey.

This was my favourite cat to date. Blind in one eye and no tail, he was so playful as I moved a stick around. Saint-Saphorin, Switzerland.

Cats are efficient hunters as they have ample time to work things out before doing anything. They are definitely enlightened beings not interested in doing.

When humans ‘domesticated’ cats thousands of years ago I don’t think they quite realised just how intelligent cats were. It didn’t take long for cats to show humans who were really the ‘domesticated’ ones.

In Egypt they worshipped cats. In the West we even build access ramps so that these gods and goddesses can come and go as they please. Switzerland. Image by Tim Hagyard.

Have you ever seen a cat work hard? Cats didn’t take long to transform human beings into human ‘doings’ at the beck and call of their feline masters.

‘Catfitti’ – street art in Tower Hamlets, London.

You may have heard the saying, ‘Dogs have owners, cats have staff’ – cats have all the time in the world because they have worked out how to become the master of the house.

In fact, when humans first decided to ‘domesticate’ cats, cats had other plans. Cats became the masters of their new domain.

Instead of becoming domesticated, these regal beings, with ease and grace, and without much more than lifting a paw, dominated all what their sleepy eyes surveyed.

We love our cats so much that we decoarate our homes with items that remind us of our feline companions. Ballaigues, France.
This cat in the village of Beauchemin, France, was a bit camera shy.

So what are some of the lessons you can learn from cats?

Firstly, that life is too short to rush around and you could do well to take a leaf out of a cat’s book and slow right down.

Cats subscribe to the 80/20 rule of life. 80% of the time is best spent taking it easy, and 20% instructing others to do as you please.

All this ample time gives them the means to build up their intelligence.

Cat peering out of an apartment window in Langres, France.

Cats can also teach us that if we take time out regularly to rest and recuperate we will remain healthy and resilient, less stressed and ultimately a lot happier.

We human beings can have nine lives too if we learn to spend more time ‘being’ in between all that ‘doing’ that we have become adept to.

The above is an extract from our book Cat Napping: A Cat’s Guide to Slowing Down.

Mural on the outskirts of Pavia, Italy.


Blog post written 21st August 2017.

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