This is Perlemus, our pet cat.

We first met Perlemus at the Vancouver BC SPCA shelter 5 years ago. Back then she was a tiny kitten only a few months old. She and her 3 sisters were rescued by the BC SPCA. We never found out what happened that resulted them ending up in the rescue shelter. All we knew was that the BC SPCA was looking for families to adopt these kittens.

On that faithful day when we went to the Vancouver SPCA shelter, Perlemus purring very loudly when Mrs. T started playing with her.

We knew then she was the right cat for us.

Since joining our household, Perlemus has been living the good life. A typically usually consists of…

  • Meows like crazy around 7:30 AM as her way to ask for some food.
  • After being fed, disappears for a while. Usually can be found in our bed, napping.
  • Reappears in the kitchen after we finish eating breakfast. She would meow very loud as if she hasn’t had food yet.
  • Runs up and down the stairs like the Road Runner from cartoons.
  • Goes to our den room, then lies on top of the sofa, looks outside. Takes another nap.
  • Wakes up, walks over to the den room chair, curls up herself into a fur ball, takes another nap.
  • Wakes up, stretches for a bit. Then runs up and down the stairs like a mad cat.
  • Goes to our bedroom and lies in our bed again. Takes another nap.
  • Before lunch time, runs down to the kitchen, meows uncontrollably, and looks at us very innocently. We would feed her some food.
  • After eating, disappears again. She usually can be found on the living room couch, napping.
  • Wonders around in the house, looks outside for entertainment (she’s an indoor cat). Often falls asleep on one of the window sills.
  • Runs to the kitchen whenever Mrs. T or I step in the kitchen. Meows like crazy to express that she’s hungry. We would ignore her.
  • Runs up and down the stairs, then disappears for a while.
  • When we are busy preparing for dinner, Perlemus reappears in the kitchen. Sits on the floor and stares at us. Runs to the laundry room where her food & water bowls are kept, whenever one of us walks toward that direction (the pantry is next to the laundry room).
  • We finally feed her. She then walks over under the dinning table. Looks for food that Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 may have accidentally dropped.
  • Disappears, usually be found on the living room couch, napping.
  • Not seen or heard for a while, then reappears around 9 PM, meows hysterically because she’s hungry again.
  • Jumps onto the couch to have hygge with us. Purrs like a loud race car.
  • We get ready for bed. She runs into the kitchen super quickly, meows frantically, wants food. We feed her.
  • After eating, disappears once again.
  • We go to bed. If we close the bedroom door, at one point during the night, we would hear her sitting in front of the door, meowing. She would then scratch the door. She wants to get in.
  • I get up, open the door, tell her to get lost.
  • A bit later she sits in front of the door and starts scratching the door again while meowing.
  • I get up again. Open the door to let her in.
  • She jumps in our bed, starts her super loud purring, finds a spot by our legs, curls herself up, falls asleep.
  • She leaves and enters our room multiple times throughout the night. Purring each time she settles herself in our bed.

Yup, that’s the relaxing life of a house cat. Food, naps, multiple hygges with the owners, more naps, more food, and more naps.

This might sound wonderful to some. But be warned, if you are a human, you don’t want to be like Perlemus.

Don’t be a Perlemus

Don’t be a Perlemus, especially when you are retired. If you spend your days by watching TV, roaming aimlessly around the house, eating random junk food, sitting around, taking naps, and not really doing anything, boredom will quickly set in. You will deteriorate both physically and mentally very quickly. You probably will gain a lot of weight because you don’t exercise. You will be bored because you aren’t being challenged mentally.

You have mentally and physically checked out.

When that happens to someone, bad things usually happen!

The other day I was talking to someone in his late 50’s. Somehow we started talking about retirement and his first comment was…

“I don’t know how I would handle retirement. I would get so bored.”

When I asked why, he said…

“Because I don’t have any hobbies. What would I do? Sit in front of the TV all day? I don’t want to travel because I have travelled too much for work…”

I felt really bad when he said that.

If you are like me, you are aiming for financial independence and possibly early retirement. Some of us have this “magic” number and “magic” date. We then work very hard to try hit the number and the date.

Some of us forget that it is about the journey. And it is about learning and developing ourselves as human beings along the way.

It is not about the final destination. What if you get there and you don’t know what to do with your “new” life? How would that do any good?

This is why it is so important to have some hobbies, learn new skills, explore your interests, try something new.

Here are a few things I would love to do more of:

  • Reading
  • Photography
  • Hiking, skiing
  • Playing board games
  • Training for a race (i.e. marathon, triathlon)
  • Traveling
  • Cooking
  • Learning new languages
  • Spending time with my family

I do all of these right now (well except for training for a race), but I wish I can do more. I would also love to pick up some more hobbies.

It is not about reaching financial independence retire early THEN do the things that I enjoy.

The two things do not need to be done sequentially. They can be done in parallel.

It is about finding time now to do the things that I enjoy in life and challenging myself both physically and mentally. It is about continue developing myself as a human being, and learning new things every day.

If you wait till FIRE, THEN start doing these things…

It is TOO LATE! Because…

When you are not busy learning, you are busy dying!!! 

So for your own sake, please don’t be like a Perlemus, lounging around all day, taking multiple naps each day. All she looks forward to is getting her food.

Don’t let your life become like that where you don’t really have anything meaningful to look forward to.

Don’t go through your “new” retirement life aimlessly.

Take incremental steps today to improve yourself today. Aim to expand your knowledge every single day. Aim to challenge yourself every single day. Make today the best day of your life!

Now if you are a cat, by all means be a Perlemus. Because that’s what cats do!

P.S. In case you are wondering… Perlemus means pearl mouse in Danish.

Written by Tawcan
Hi I’m Bob from Vancouver Canada, I am working toward joyful life and financial independence through frugal living, dividend investing, passive income generation, life balance, and self-improvement. This blog is my way to chronicle my journey and share my stories and thoughts along the way. Stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Or sign up via Newsletter