If you ever had a pet, you know that there are pure characters.

The more time you spend with them, the more you notice how they interact with you, be it with love and adoration or annoyance and indifference. Even more, you see how they explore the world.

In our household, there are two of them – a mother-daughter duo that came to us from a shelter in Spain. We love them to bits. I'd sell my heart and soul for them, our children, Sissi (daughter) and Resi (mother).

(And I even accept that I can never laugh at my home because the shrill seagull noises I make annoy the fuck out of Sissi so she bites my ankles to shut me up. This is my burden to carry but I accept.)

You have to see them when someone new shows up at our apartment – or something new stands in front of them (think: new food or a mysterious never-seen-before bag).

Resi, who spent her first year in life on the Madrid streets, is always the suspicious one. She'd give a side-eye to new people, and move uneasily, from one paw to another, when facing new toys. Her muscles bunch up as she observes the room, ready to strike if something unexpected happens. (Most likely, she'd bolt away but sometimes she gives a mean paw punch at the speed of the light.)

Yet, Sissi, who was brought to the shelter as a newborn kitten, is the explorer. We jokingly call her our customs control because no object is left unturned when she's on the mission. She meets the world – be it new delicious food, or a dust speckle on the floor – tongue first: That's how she knows what food to snatch from Resi, or what to watch out for the next time.

It always strikes me how these instincts in them are unconscious, how their past experiences have shaped their today's behaviour. I'd never claim to be a behavioural expert – for cats or humans alike – but there are some cues I can relate to.

When committing to something new. When failing.

Like Resi, I want to shy away – because I remember how much it hurts to step out of my comfort zone.

Like Sissi, I also want to explore – because I remember how fulfilling it is to catch an opportunity and strike gold when you least expect it.

Yet, also when giving my 10th try to do something I desire. When failing, again.

Like Resi, I might stand still but her greatest superpower is in observance and staying put.

Like Sissi, I might explore but always springing into action is like banging into the steel door without searching for the key to open it first.

The thing with human experiences, we can zoom out from our current context and analyse our moves: One day, I'm Resi, and the other – I'm Sissi.

There's a little bit of both inside us.

There's a little bit of push and pull – and who's to say what's better or worse?