Friday, 19 August 2022
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

I find myself watching my favourite guru – the cat

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Aug 16, 2021

With Croatia on the green list for the U.K. now, it’s been a joy to see businesses thriving again, but the flip side is much less “me time” as I juggle work and a constant stream of guests here in Cavtat.

I’m not complaining, I’m loving every moment, but it’s full on, and I have to be mindful to strike that balance between making the most of the summer and burning out.

This weekend I have a rare morning off to myself. I’ve made myself a commitment to do nothing and already it’s total bliss.

I get my jobs done, fanny around a bit, and before long, there it is, the nothing-ness I’ve been craving.

What to do with all this space and time???

I find myself watching my favourite guru.

The cat.

He’s only 4 months old but he has life all worked out. Basically I am the butler. And the chef. On-site masseur. And general dogsbody.

As I watch him devour his bowl of fresh sea bass and swordfish, leftovers from last night’s dinner that he didn’t have to pay a penny for, nor work for, I’m reconsidering my life, and wondering where I went wrong.

One of the many things I love about Croatia is that no one bats an eyelid when I ask if I can take away the unfinished dinner for my cat. Quite the opposite - it usually gets a nod of approval and maybe even a pet photo-sharing session before we leave.

I know I shouldn’t, but I do tend to judge a restaurant, and in fact people in general, on whether they seem to like animals or not.


Animal people are good people in my experience, and I always seem to share a bond with other cat owners.

Because we get it. We can learn a lot from these smart little creatures. They’re in charge. And if they are lucky enough to have found a good home here in Croatia, they will be leading the kind of lifestyle most of us can only dream of.

Get up, have a yawn and a stretch, go and wake up someone who adores you, have a cuddle, then demand to be fed. Have a little nap wherever, whenever. Spend 20 minutes chasing a fly. Make a hammock out of the hanging bed sheets and snooze in the shade. Demand to eat a bit more. Nap. Go out and play with your mates. And repeat.

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All on your terms. You’re the boss. And these are as tricky as the decisions get.

It turns out I’m not the only one to be a bit envious of the cat’s life. I see a post on social media and I think it could not be more true.

“When you’re a child you want to be a teenager. When you’re a teenager you want to be an adult. When you’re an adult you want to be a cat”.

I want to be a cat!!!!! Maybe in the next life, I think to myself. If I’m good….

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I know many aren’t so lucky here, and there are so many without homes or without being sterilised, but I still believe that cats are wonderful teachers, not to mention they are professional cuddlers.

So I make a decision not to be jealous, but instead to ask “what can I learn from these smart furry creatures?”.

Today it’s art of doing nothing. No plan, just living moment by moment, balancing rest and play, and not thinking too much about anything else at all.

And I might just have a little cat nap right, guilt-free. Bliss.

Read more Gillie here...  


Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

To find out more about Gillie go to

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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