Darkness reigns. And so does sleep. Suddenly the quiet is rent with the sounds of cat-in-peril. I wake up and rush to the rescue.

What I find is a kitty rolling on the floor with delight at the sight of me. Waiting for me to appreciate her kitty prowess—the toy trophy of it lying beside her. The strangling cat sound that woke me obviously came from yelling with that trophy still in her mouth.

It could be a toy mouse, a ball, or a pipe cleaner—but she must have done something wonderful to get it. Something that shouldn’t go unappreciated for lack of an audience.

You may laugh at the dramatics, but in the middle of the night everything is dramatic. And, as many times as it has happened, I still run to make sure she’s all right. Then I pet her, tell her she’s a great hunter, and watch her walk proudly off to other adventures.

People need appreciation just as much as cats do—but they aren’t usually as obvious about asking for it. One dose of appreciation can make up for a lot of discouraging comments heard during the day. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Being observant (and remembering to say something about what you see) can mean the difference between sunshine and clouds for someone.

We don’t roll on the floor in delight, but we do stand a little taller, think a little differently about ourselves—and are more apt to walk proudly off to other adventures.

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