Not all teachers are human.
My most influential non-human teacher was my gray cat Clancy J Bumps ( don’t ask what the J was for, he didn’t like to be called by it and would attack madly). Among the nicknames he earned was – The Grey Menace. The Menace loved to fight. But he almost always won through strategy and intimidation. Few cats or dogs dared actually to engage him in full combat.
The enormous German shepherd learned this lesson the hard way. He thought the kitty was a handy snack. The Menace was tied on a leash in the yard. The dog did not know that the leash had a breakaway section for times just like that. Clancy mewed piteously and lured the dog into our yard. He then snapped the lead, assaulted the dog, and sent it into a hurried attempt to clamber over an eight-foot palisade fence. Afterward, the Menace sat there licking the blood of his claws. The dog’s owner was furious. I pointed out that the dog was collar and leashless, outside his yard and in mine. The dog also had attacked my poor, innocent cat. I refused to pay the dog’s vet bills.
Although the Menace tried to lure the dog back into the yard again, it whimpered every time it saw Clancy in the yard.
An excellent example of a teacher you’re thinking? Well, he tended to make friends with his foes after fights. Seeing four or so cats basking in the sun was amusing. With catnip growing as a weed in the garden, the afternoons often turned into catnip nap sessions.
The Menace was fiercely loyal to his friends and would threaten to tear you up if you threatened them. He also knew when to make a face-saving retreat and take credit for a victory.
He was a gourmet who loved chile, roast beef subs ( with hots, please), and relished a good dance party.
What did I learn from him? First, you should attack fiercely when attacked, make peace afterward, and enjoy life to its fullest.