Our family has two older cats and we recently added Jef, a kitten from the shelter.

This is Jef.  There are many fetching qualities about Jef: his stripes, his orangeness, his feisty personality, how he lets you cuddle with him as much as you want.  But my favorite aspect of this kitty is his perseverance when it comes to being loved and accepted by the other cats.

The other cats were extremely angry at his inclusion in our family at first.  The young and beautiful , Lolly, hissed and spat and ran and hid and ignored me for weeks.  The big fluffy one, Scooter, was annoyed and combative. Jef remained undeterred.  His strategy was to love them anyway!  And he did.  When they papped him, he did not back down.  When they napped, he cuddled nearby.  When they ate, he sidled up. Despite their clear disdain and rejection, Jef continued to show his severe interest in being their friend.

It didn’t matter what they thought of him. He loved them anyway.

Well, after some weeks now, there is much less hissing and papping and there are even signs of slight acceptance if not inclusion in our cat world.

I have learned much from Jef’s life strategy and have adopted his method of unconditional love when it comes to a relationship in my life, where a person is really not that interested in being my friend anymore. I have decided to love them anyway. I recognize being pesty serves no purpose, (I am slightly more discerning than a cat), but I can still hold it in my heart and extend the occasional effort or affection when appropriate.  It seems to work.

What others think of you is none of your business.  Your feelings are true and valid and worthy of expression.

Thanks Jef. Glad I was listening.