Greetings! Hope everyone is doing well. Personally, perhaps because the end of semester crunch is underway, I feel the need for a non-serious focus. So, I’m going to write about my household’s new kitten.
For those who don’t know me well, it is important to understand that I am a cat person. And I’ve raised my daughter to also be a cat person (though as I’ll explain in a minute, this will come back to get me). Right now, we have 5 cats ranging in age and personality. This clowder is a mix of rescues and foster fails. My vet knows we’re a soft touch.
The new kitten, who is about 14 weeks old, has been with us for a month. And in that time, he has completely upended everything. Cats have a reputation for being anti-social animals, but in actuality, they establish hierarchies and relationships within a group. Adding this kitten just wrecked that. Watching the cats attempt to regain some equilibrium is an interesting illustration of systems theory turned upside down.
It was the machinations of my daughter and one of her close friends that led to this addition. Our vet had three kittens dumped on them. The lab tech decided to take one. The friend wanted to adopt another and suggested that my daughter take the third one so the kitty brothers could get together for "play dates." Hard to argue with logic like that.
Because I work mostly at home, I get to spend a lot of time with this tiny ball of fur with murderous needles at the end of its four appendages. I have never experienced a cat with more energy. Everything needs to be explored, climbed, batted about (including people). CONSTANTLY. This kitten amuses itself with the smallest specs of dirt, a tiny bit of foil, or a pipe cleaner. He wants to get into everything and is absolutely fearless, thinking nothing of running by and swatting at one of the other cats. There’s a lot of mad chasing, which would be delightful if it didn’t happen at 2 am.
When observing this kitten and his antics, I sometimes wonder what is going on in the little head of his. What would it be like to be that inquisitive? That willing to take risks? That exuberant with life? How would our lives change if we could channel some of this kitten energy? We probably all have animals, or perhaps people, in our lives that inspire such questions. The challenge is embracing the answers.
At this moment, my daughter and I haven’t quite settled on a name. My suggestions of Bruce (for Springsteen), Whackjob (because he is), or Shadow (he relentlessly follows one of the other cats) were vetoed by my daughter. She initially suggested Prince (later retracted), and then Neymar, after the Brazilian soccer player who is, apparently, "really cute." The leading contender right now is “Pita” (aka Pain In The A**). Naming nominations are open.
Whatever we call him, I appreciate that his ridiculousness provides welcomed relief from work demands, political news, or holiday craziness. I hope you have a source of similar respite. We do need to take time to appreciate the goofy and weird.