Cats are hard on a house. There are scratches on the walls, claw marks in the furniture, and some days I worry that I'm literally going insane trying to spray them with water when they repeatedly jump onto the table or counter. Cats and food surfaces simply don't mix well in my mind, and I am endlessly paranoid about drinking from my water cup in case one of them had their face in it to drink, or throwing away food which may or may not have been tampered with by the cats.
I'm amazed at how much more relaxed I am about the destruction to my house this time around. I thought it would be the opposite - that as I got older, my house would be more important to me, and not less. But it appears that I have changed, because I love these kittens so much, and I love watching my kids love them, that a few wall scratches and a bit of table sleeping pales in comparison to what they bring to our lives.
I like that the hold my possessions have on me is lessening. Things don't matter as much as people or living creatures, and I can say that and honestly mean it now, so a personal transformation has already happened for me. Those who knew me in my twenties would have described me as a rigid perfectionistic control freak, and those were my kindest friends. I have changed, and recognizing that means something to me.
Worrying about things that I can't take with me when I die is a useless exercise. I want to invest in what lasts forever, and that includes relationships, and love, and grace. Those intangibles will live on long after I am gone, and be remembered. Not how perfect my walls were, or how pristine my furniture looked, or how trendy my vehicle was. Those things don't matter to me like they once did. My happiness and satisfaction in life is found elsewhere.
Kids taught me this lesson before the cats came along, but it's been cemented for me by these feline buddies. We are much more than we possess, and life is meant to be lived and not admired from a distance with protective plastic wrap around it. The cats are messy, and hard on my house, but they fill me with joy and love, and those are the qualities I want to invest in from this point forward.