I don’t know if you’ve seen animals “talk” to each other, or read any of the Rita Mae Brown’s mysteries solved by her conversational cats, but I was “owned” by two female calico cats – from the minute they were born to the minute they died – and I witnessed a lot of talking, fighting and taunting between them.
They were sisters, and had a brother and two other sisters that lived with other families. They were named Callie (obvious) and Beard (she had a black spot on her chin that made her look like she had one) and although litter mates, or what we would call “fraternal twins,” they were as physically and emotionally different as can be.
Callie was tall, beautiful, with slanty, aloof green eyes that she would half-close as she sat in replica of an Egyptian statue, curling her tail around her body past her front paws. Beard was squat, pudgy, with big round mischievous but friendly yellow eyes. She sat like a blob, with her tail straight out behind her, and made a point of flaunting her magnificent paunch. In fact, when the elegant Callie was eating, Beard would lumber by, which made Callie absolutely queasy and unable to finish her food which, of course, Beard happily finished for her. I have no doubt that was the Beard’s plan from the beginning.
I witnessed many conversations between the two, and usually over food, weight and body image (Callie berating Beard about all the above). To Beard’s credit, she didn’t let her size, her unfortunate name, or the taunts from her graceful sister hold her back. She was as inclined to be walking the rafters, or leaping from horse back to horse back as her lithe sister, she just made a little more noise when she landed.
As interesting as they were to watch and anthropomorphically ponder, what I find noteworthy was that these two sisters – twins, if you will – managed to have completely incompatible eating styles, temperaments, and opposite body types! With genetics factored out, environment factored out, and the idea of considering food an “addiction” for a cat absurd, what could explain these differences?
They were just different. Not better or worse, just different. There is real power in embracing that idea for us bipeds – no striving to have someone else’s body type, just make yours work for you! I think I could write a book called “What I Learned From My Cats” if someone hasn’t already written it.
Marsha Hudnall, co-author on this site once said,"If you are caught up in not liking yourself because of your size, it quickly starts whittling away at your motivation," says Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, Green Mountain’s program director. "That inner voice makes you feel helpless
Read her fabulous article, “Accept Your Wonderful Self” to discover more about body acceptance.
An interesting note, despite the “obesity” of one, and the life-long lean of the other, they died within a few months of each other at 18 years of age. Their sisters and brother that did not live with them also died at 18 years of age…more on this in my next post.