Moving Into the New Year and Taking Lessons From Our Cats Along the Way



I can’t lie to you – 2013 was not my favorite year.  There was a lot of angst, stress, and unforeseen circumstances that made life emotionally challenging and difficult to bear. But that’s not to say that the year wasn’t filled with incredible good and joy as well. I have been able to continue down my cat loving path with many new doors opening and I just spent the last couple of weeks with my family surrounding me.



And mind you, just like other families, mine is not perfect – we have the battle wounds of life and struggle just like everyone else to get through the day in one piece. But we love one another fiercely and having them around served as a gentle reminder not to take anything for granted. My plate is exceedingly full – I have friends, family, a man who loves me, seven adoring cats, food on my table, a job, a roof over my head, and my health. Not everyone can say that and I don’t take any of it lightly.



But I also know that with each New Year comes new possibilities and as we enter 2014 I look forward to a personal rejuvenation and I hope I can inspire the same for many of you who would like a fresh start. Just because last year was difficult does not mean that this year has to be and I liken the thought process to that of a cat – take those battles and obstacles in front of you and use them as an incentive to persevere and rise above the fray.



Cats are problem solvers, survivors, living examples of the “easier said than done” of life. They constantly live in seize the moment mode as any little mouse who dares to cross their path will tell you, they don’t dwell with regret in the past, and they don’t live in crippling fear of what the future holds (unless the dreaded pet carrier comes out). Every day is a brand new start for them and I think us humans could learn a lot as we start this New Year from the behavior of our wise feline friends.

Rather than focusing on what we don’t have or what we think we can’t do, insurmountable issues in our mind, if we decided to adapt to circumstances rather than let them define or defeat us, those adaptations become victories, no matter how small or large they may be. In other words, if you allow yourself mental flexibility and break down the rigid constraints of your world, you are more likely to encounter the positive in life rather than the negative because you are open to new possibilities.



How many times have you seen a cat jump to the top of something that seemed impossibly high? Often they do it in one swift, single leap. But if they can’t make it, they either try again, or they find another way to get up there. The point is, they don’t give up. And trust me, I know that it’s not always easy – life is far from ideal and the best laid plans or intentions have a tendency to derail along the way. I have had many a goal or project I have pursued that has been rejected or ignored a hundred times over and it will happen a hundred more times again this year alone as I move forward with new ideas and goals. But it only serves to make me try harder, or to be more creative, or more bold because all it takes is one yes, but you will never get that one yes unless you try and that is why I am so excited for a fresh new start.



For those of you, like me, who are looking forward to a new year, a fresh start, and new challenges and goals, I hope that you find the inner strength to reinvent yourself, to dare to dream, and to be willing to venture into areas that are out of your comfort zone.  If you are frustrated looking for a new job, keep your mind open by learning new skills and by applying for positions that you might otherwise pass by. Don’t take everything literally – you might be exactly what someone is looking for but if you give up before you even try, you will never know. Or if this is the year that you plan on writing a book, then do it. You don’t have to write a best-selling novel, but you at least have to get the ball rolling by starting with the first sentence. If you are looking for a new relationship, take the first step and say hello to that person, if you are looking to end one, take that first step in saying goodbye.



Whatever it is for you, no matter how large or small the goal, just be kind to yourself and others. If 2013 has taught me anything, it is that life is fleeting and that you don’t get a rewind button. Time moves on and all you really have is what is in front of you at the moment. Appreciate it, cherish it, make the most of it and don’t waste precious time with anger, regret, or bitterness.

I wish you all the best this year and I hope you follow the inspirational lead of your cats. Or not… I just remembered that Harley has not moved off the couch since 2009 so maybe she’s not the best example of reinvention, creativity, and boldness. Although I must admit that she is very happy living in the moment of her divine laziness and I certainly can’t fault her for that… Come to think of it, I think more relaxation and napping time in 2014 probably wouldn’t be the worst advice in the world for a highly driven lunatic like myself who needs to slow down a bit and relax now and again! Balance… that’s what’s 2014 should be all about…

Naps to All and Happy New Year from the Zee and Zoey Gang!


Mr. Jazz

A special New Year wish to my beloved Mr. Jazz who taught me to be a kinder, more tolerant, and patient person last year. He is my eternal muse and inspiration for much moving forward this year. R.I.P. my darling boy and I hope you are finding much love, friendship, and comfort from those kitty friends who have also crossed over the bridge with you. My heart goes out to all who have gone through a loss and may your heart heal in time…

I hope you enjoy all the photo quotes – please click to enlarge if you would like to see them magnified. 

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  1. Wonderful inspirational quotes to go with each of your cats… and to accompany the thoughtful prose. Happy New Year and happy to meet you.

  2. I like that quote that life is not a rehearsal. HNY 2014!

  3. You always make us think! Happy New Year, Kitties and Humans! Have a good 2014, whatever happens! 😉

  4. Carolyn says:

    Much to think about in this post, Deb! The quotes also and the gorgeous pictures of your cats makes this the purrfect way to start the new year. Wishing you and your family and your furbabies peace, health and a year full of possibilities. xox

  5. A lovely lovely new year post!
    Happy New Year my Furriends! May 2014 bring you all the adventures you are longing for!
    Many purrs

  6. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    happee bee lated 2014 guys !!! we canna lie either…2013 sucked in mor
    wayz N one…sew long N dont come bak !!! but we all sew haz manee things
    ta bee grate full for N manee things thanx full for….all we gotta due iz “look” food serviss gal makes a list each caturday of stuff her… N uz…
    can bee thanx full for;

    her picks a letter oh de alfa bet…then runs de list frum A ta Z….say if her
    picks de letter B….her… N uz… wood bee thanx full for sum thin containin de
    letters BA, BB, BC, BD & sew on….all de way ta Z

    sure we never pick burdz tho we haz heard her say her bee thanx full for…
    burd song…mor on that another day…

    hope yur new yeer bee blessed…we loves this pic sure oh jazz

    happee ton oh trout thurzday !!

    • Deb says:

      Happy New Year back to you and yours, da tabbies! We sure do hope that 2014 is much, much better for you with hardly any burds at all. We are glad you enjoyed the picture of Jazz as well. He and Sauce probably had a New Year toast on behalf of us!!

  7. We missed the bloghop but so grateful to stop by and see this. Your beautiful condolence card just arrived and it means the world to me. For many of us 2013 was rough but with friends and community we will survive and thrive. May 2014 be filled with peace, love and lots of purrs.

    • Deb says:

      Layla – I wish there was no need to send a card, but circumstances dictated otherwise. My heart is with you as you move into 2012 and try to heal. Purrs to you and yours as well…

  8. Deb, thanks so much for the encouragement to make 2014 a great year, despite any real or perceived set backs in 2013. I needed to read this inspirational piece today~so many goals large and small that will fade into the background if I’m paralyzed by what if’s.

    My absolute favorite photo is of Mr. Jazz, he is (yes IS) so beautiful. You were so lucky to be his guardian, and he was lucky to have you by his side to the very last moment on this plane. Thanks for continuing to share him with us.

    Cheers, my friend! Peace to you, Dan, and the Clan!

    • Deb says:

      You are so very welcome, Laura, and I find it of interest how you state “despite any real or perceived set backs.” I think that is a very insightful statement as often what we perceive as a set back, others not in your shoes would think otherwise. Small steps – it only takes one to start moving in the right direction.

      I am also very glad you enjoy the photos of Jazz. It just doesn’t seem right to let go of him – he is still in my heart and I am certain I will continue to share him in one sense or another as the year moves on.

      Have a great New Year and cheers to you and yours as well!

  9. Such a beautiful and thoughtful post, Deb.
    We hope this new year will bring joy and successes to all of our friends and family.
    Happy New Year, dear friends.
    Thank you for always making us pause and reflect.

    • Deb says:

      I am so glad you enjoyed the post Glogirly – I enjoy giving people a reason to pause and reflect and wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

  10. Brooke says:

    Truly beautiful! I actually printed this out and put it in my inspirational scrapbook! Thank you for writing this as I (and others) really needed to hear this. Yep, 2013 was a real challenge, but 2014 will be better I hope for all of us!

    • Deb says:

      Brooke – you have truly made my day. I am so happy to have inspired you and I hope that it will help guide your 2014 into a wonderful direction. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  11. Beautiful post. So many truths we all need to be reminded of, because they’re are so easy to forget if things don’t work out as planned. Have a lucky weekend.

  12. Carla Lorens says:

    I have a cat and we are going to move to a new apartment next week. I packed everything and I am sure that my cat knows that some kind of change is going to happen. I hope that she will like her new home…at least, the new apartment is bigger.