Earlier this week, our 16 year old cat, Daisy, died suddenly. (Most probably of a heart attack or stroke.) Thankfully, it was very quick and she knew nothing about it.
It’s devastating to have lost her and, quite naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days of the nine years we spent with her. There are three words to sum up her character: courageous, determined and resilient.
She was unhappy in her original home: another cat in the flat (her son) bullied her constantly. So, when they all moved from the flat below us to another flat in our complex, Daisy decided to leave her owner and stay put, living in the communal hallway. She chose to leave the certainty of a life with a guy who loved her, cared for her and fed her for a life of uncertainty.
The rest of us in the block agreed not to feed her because her owner was hoping she would change her mind and move back with him once she got hungry. However, she didn’t. Out of the six flats in our block, Daisy had decided that she wanted to move in with my husband and me. She would sit by our front door and try to sneak in as soon as we put our key in the lock.
We didn’t want a cat.
I was allergic to her (I came out in red weals on my skin) and, besides, we had been thinking of getting a dog! Eventually we relented. We could see how determined she was to wheedle her way into our flat every day. Her previous owner realised he couldn’t force her back so he gave us her injection record book and Daisy ‘officially’ became ours on the vet’s database.
She developed kidney stones and, whenever she got ill and was on medication, she always bounded back to full health really quickly.
So what does the courage, determination and resilience of our cat have to do with freelancing?
Well, in these tough economic times, we’ve got to embrace these same qualities that Daisy displayed.
We need courage if we are to go beyond our comfort zone, or to take the plunge into new markets or to start up a brand new venture.
We need determination to achieve the goals we set ourselves for 2012 and to keep going – even when new projects seem thin on the ground.
And we need resilience to bounce back when we lose a client or when a project gets cancelled or when the new business opportunities we’ve been chasing are won by someone else.
We can learn a great deal from the bravery of one little cat.