RSS Feed

my cats

We don’t own a cat. We did once and she was special. I think Charles Bukowski gets it right that when we have a pet they are our teachers. I always tell people who cat really owned us. We have opportunities to learn from whatever appears in our world and space. When we stop and sense closely, deeply, it is a learning experience that sometimes only reveals itself much later.

I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and

but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so

they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t

their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
hesitation or

when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my

I study these

they are my


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

41 responses »

  1. I’m a cat person, so of course I can relate to what you wrote. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And I agree with Bukowski. I have learned from each of the wonderful animals I’ve had over the years.

  2. I can relate; grew up with Siamese. One cold winter morning, a stray manx appeared at my doorstep. We’ve been “friends” for years now. It’s “all good” as long as I give the cat the freedom to come and go. The manx actually has a home and if I actually owned her; I’d keep her closer. Cats do walk with a surprising dignity and their eyes are so beautiful.

    Enjoyed your post!

  3. I have two cats. ONe is a Snowshoe my sister gave to me.. And I have never seen a more mellow or affectionate cat. She is half-Siamese with Seal-Point markings and all four feet are white. Come to find out that they are rare and she has the most beautiful blue eyes. A real Sweetheart. <—- Lacey

    Baby is a Black Tabby with a totally different personality though very close to me. She is hard for others to know and quite frankly couldn't care less what other people or pets think. She is athletic and fast and kind of funny when she wants to be. We've had a lot of experiences together and is officially, an emotional support animal.

  4. Me too. My cats taught me everything I know about love.

  5. I agree, Ivan, we have so much to learn from our animal companions. Thanks for this, Alia

  6. Yes, I too have learned so much from our four cats that all happened to come across our path, one way or another..

  7. sweet pet poem!
    i’ve learned from cats
    in passing, from afar
    as allergies kept me
    from living with a feline πŸ™‚

  8. Yes, they are. I often say that my pets are the owners of the house and I just rent a room from them. Of course, I have to pay all the bills and do all the cleaning. They are family not just animals. Love them all.

    Take care.

  9. yeseventhistoowillpass

    Toonce my cat was a good teacher. A vindictive teacher but a good teacher.

  10. I can’t but agree with the above. Oscar taught me many things in his long life. One was that no matter what I did or didn’t do I could be liable for a disapproving swipe. Another was that h was my alarm cat and that when he purred in my ear, bit my toe or licked my eyeball, it was time to get out of bed to open a door or feed him.
    I was lucky enough ( I suppose) that he left me enough adventures to write a book for him.

  11. Love this Ivon. Thank you.

  12. my sentiments too. i adore cats and miss mine. I always had cats in pairs, and Siamese. It was a total love affair. I hope one day to have cats again. thanks for this. Eve

  13. So beautiful and true. Thank you for this. πŸ™‚

  14. We are all limited, humans most of all.

  15. I even learn from my chickens!

  16. I can relate to this very much. There has always been a cat in my home. My 2 cats Twilight and Shadow are the masters no doubt about it. lol.

  17. Living in a 9-cat household, I totally appreciated this post! They are amazing creatures, each with its own unique personality–though that love of sleep and regal walk are something they all share. Thanks. ~Tom

  18. Living with a dog, I still appreciated the wisdom in this post πŸ™‚

  19. Thoroughly enjoyed your poem, Ivon. We were adopted by a runaway (from another home) kitty, Midnight. We are her people and we’re so glad that she chose us. She’s the Queen of our castle. Life is better with Middy in it! πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: