The term "living abundantly" comes from the Christian Bible and refers to the satisfying and positive qualities of a fulfilled life. However, one can live abundantly outside of religion; living with abundance is about adding MEANING and living the MOST FULFILLED life you can with what you already have. Is this blog religious? I believe in God - but the blog is not spiritual in the sense of a God - you don't need faith in religion to live abundantly. Believing in God as I do - and seeing cats for the wonders they bring to my life, I can't help but observe that cats are gifts from a divine power. I don't claim to know the name of that divine power - or pretend that my version of religion is the correct one. Whether you consider your blessings to be God-given, via karma or due to luck or hard work: you can live abundantly - with your cats.

Why live abundantly WITH CATS? Humans spend so much time trying to train cats to live in a way that least inconveniences us. We try to change our cats instead of seeing the beauty and strength in who they are. How do you truly appreciate and live a fulfilling life with a cat when you try to deny the cat his instincts (like scratching behavior and other "undesirable" feline behaviors) and personality that make him who he is? Some cats - for whatever reason - struggle with the closeness most humans desire. Living with abundance means accepting - and even loving - a cat's limitations just as he accepts yours. Abundant living isn't about changing the other party (in this case, a cat) - but loving him, appreciating him and meeting him where he is. Will every relationship with a cat look like my and Bear's relationship? No. But as I said before, abundant living is not about what exists outside of you; instead, abundance is about living the most fulfilled life you can live with what you have ("most fulfilled life" primarily measures what exists within you).

Does this mean we give up and let our cats do whatever they like? No. A certain amount of training can be a bonding experience between a person and her cat - and lead to living abundantly. Training might also decrease feline boredom and improve the quality of a cat's life. Living with abundance isn't about changing or training our cats to be who we want them to be - but to open our eyes and revel in the miracle of the cats with whom we share our lives. Humans characteristically misunderstand cats. Because of this, people don't realize the rich emotional lives cats are capable of sustaining!

If you're thinking, "WAIT! I can't live with abundance until I have XYZ." Living with abundance has little to do with what you have. Humans chase happiness and fulfillment in career advancement, diets, financial goals, etc. - but those goals are empty because our souls are empty. Abundant living is about appreciating and recognizing what one does have - and focusing less on what one doesn't. The quantity of your blessings is primarily irrelevant - what matters is the depth of your emotional experiences of those blessings. Why wouldn't you want more depth to the relationship with your furry feline sitting right in front of you? 

To begin the journey to a more fulfilled relationship with your cat, please read The Purr-fect New Year's Resolution: A Better Relationship With Your Cat. The first step to a better relationship with your cat: Get out of your own way! If you find yourself considering giving up your cat, please read this post containing resources to assist you in keeping your cat: Reducing euthanasia by reducing the number of owner-relinquished cats: Resources to keep cats in their homes.

So what do our more humorous or story posts have to do with living abundantly? In those posts, readers see what's possible when we open our hearts and minds to the cats in our lives. Expectations of a relationship with a cat no longer are limited to a few ear scratches and some food. I've found my "living abundantly" with my cats - and I know you can too - if only you give your cats the chance to relate to you and show you their capabilities for deep and meaningful relationships (as much as they are able). Even more, research supports our view that cats WANT a relationship with us and that cats PREFER that type of relationship with us. To read about the research supporting our views: Do cats need human interaction or are they completely fine on their own?

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