Recently, I posted the following on Facebook:
“My stray cat, Liberty, left a mouse’s head on the patio for me this morning. Not a dead mouse, the head of a dead mouse! I think that cat has been watching too many movies lately. Hmm, what is she trying to tell me?” 🙂
As a note, while I’m just now learning about cats, I did know that cats show appreciation to their humans by bringing them dead stuff. What was so amusing to me was the head looking very much like a miniature version of the one from the famous movie.
Now, as opposed to the three responses I typically receive when posting something I feel is quasi-profound, this one brought – on both pages combined – over 70 responses. Which tells me I’m not nearly as quasi-profound as I quasi-think I am.
Many of the responses (along with some teasing from my friends, Dondi Scumaci and Dixie Gillaspie, who are amused with the irony that I call Liberty “my stray” cat – Dondi simply refers to her as “Bob’s cat”) found some good lessons in the post.
Several people, including Dixie, Debbi and Edie talked about seeing “value” from the other’s point of view. Yes, while the mouse’s head held no intrinsic (or, for that matter, extrinsic, or, for that matter, any!) value to me, it did for Liberty. Because she valued it, their terrific point suggested that I should at least value the thought, if not the gift itself. And, in that sense, I would be valuing the gift.
A couple people took the lesson that we should be careful to choose the gifts we give to others based on how they might value it.
Both excellent lessons reminded me of a book I read many years ago by Dr. Gary Chapman entitled, The Five Love Languages. The basic premise is that there are five types of ways in which we feel loved. They are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. While most of us have all five to a certain extent, usually one is primary and much more dominant than are the others.
Here’s the rub: In the same way that we, as human beings, tend to assume that our Belief System is everybody else’s Belief System, we also tend to believe that our Love Language is the other person’s, as well, even if we don’t know anything about Love Languages.
Thus, if one partner’s Love Language is acts of service and the other’s is physical touch, the first person wonders why their thoughtful acts of service are never appreciated? And also doesn’t understand why the other partner doesn’t think of providing acts of service to them.
The fact that this is taking place on an unconscious level means that not only are the two people not “speaking” the same language…they don’t even know they are not speaking the same language, or that there is even a language such as this to be spoken!
The basic Love Language principles taught by Dr. Chapman are not only for couples but – as suggested by his now many books on the topic – for anyone. So, from this moment on, after determining your Love Language as well as the other person’s, be sure and stay conscious of both.
Or, you could just adopt a stray cat. But, watch out for those mouse heads. As a couple of Facebook commenters suggested, the cat could be part of a catnip Cat-tell, a member of Al-Catta or, perhaps even the Catra Nostra.