--The Avoiding Cat--
"The avoiding cat plays games in her mind. If she needs to clean her fur, she hunts. If she needs to fill her belly, she sleeps. If she needs to explore her territory, she toys with a leaf. Her actions are often spirited, though misdirected. The avoiding cat is fear-filled. She has more comfort working with diligence on a different task, than facing her fear of the task at paw. If she fears she will hunt without success, she will do any other thing to avoid that failure. The longer she avoids, the more fear she builds, and the hungrier she'll get. The hunger will weaken her, and that will increase her fear, keeping her evermore from the hunt. The avoiding cat is not weak, lazy or inadequate, rather is afraid. To help herself, she must face her fear and do her tasks anyway. This is effortless to say, but difficult to do. Yet she must, as only clawing at fear can diminish it."
--The Heroic Cat--
" It is said that to find eternity, a cat must be heroic. The heroic cat cares for others as she cares for herself. She treats others with respect and kindness. Some think heroism is defined by courageous deeds. it can be. But it is also in a life well lived. The heroic cat will hunt for you when you are sick or injured. She will protect your kittens when you are using the sand. She will share her den if you are caught in cold winds. She will groom you, and make you purrr. The heroic cat does not trespass on your territory, leave scent in your spaces, or hunt your creatures. The heroic cat is she whom every cat should long to be."
--The Holding Cat--
"The holding cat has difficulty to let go. When summer approaches, he does not shed. he holds on to his winter coat, his appearance disheveled and unkempt. The heat of his unshed fur makes him clumsy and artless when he hunts. He sleeps fitfully, too warm to find release. His territory resembles his coat, with bits of bone,fur, and feathers around his den. His trails are overgrown and slow him when he runs. The holding cat clings to things that do not serve him. He may think this keeps him safe, for other cats rarely invade the territory of a holding cat. But when it is time to mate, the females do not answer his call. They do not want his messy coat near their gleaming fur. In this way, the holding cat hides from the rest of the world, never demanding of himself his obligations to the community. The thing he hoards have little meaning. The fur that covers him gives little pleasure. The holding cat holds only illusions."
--The Aspiring Cat--
"The aspiring cat wants more than an ordinary life. When others hunt mice, she hunts rats.When others settle for nesting chicks, she hunts birds on the wing. When others are pleased with a fish washed onto shore, she immerses herself in the stream. The aspiring cat dreams for her kittens, as well as herself. She teaches them to desire for themselves. The aspiring cat is rare. Most cats are content to fill their bellies, create litters, and defend their territories, but the aspiring cat wants more. She does not do these things out of greed or to humble those around her. It is a need deep within her heart. She is true to herself when she shows her ambitions. Her dreams can take many forms. She can be the best hunter, the most nurturing mother, the most popular mate, the greatest climber, the most diligent protector, or the wisest Mouser. If you are an aspiring cat, do not fight your dreams."
--The Enlightened Cat--
"You can live your life in ordinary ways. You will exist, you will eat and sleep and mate and die, and never quest for more. There is nothing wrong with this, as it is your choice to make. but some cats will embark on a journey. They do not have to travel a wall, or even wander from their territory. Journeys can take many forms. The enlightened cat sees the world and all other cats as her teachers, and she learns from each. She discovers the prized role of question and the ephemeral role of answers. She asks, and seeks, and quests, and maybe if she is open enough, she walks the path to enlightenment. if she reaches this state, she can let it all go--teaching as she was taught, divining new questions, and creating new journeys for those who sit avid in her shadow. The enlightened cat is a Mouser. You have the potential to be a Mouser, if that is the path you seek. This is the journey I have made, and I invite you now to follow."
From the greatest and most unique book my Mom ever gave me (The Wisdom of Yo Meow Ma, Joanna Sandsmark)