October 15th, 2010

That Darn Cat

Let me tell you about my mother’s cat. He’s a black Devon Rex and when he was a kitten he would jump up and bat the peep hole on the front door. Or try to jump on top of your head. Once he put a paw on each of my cheeks and licked my mouth. Too freaking precious. None of that is the point though.

Patterns

Kittyumpkins (not his real name) has an issue with patterns. Not emotional stuckified patterns, but real repeating printed motifs. If you drop a napkin on the floor you get an unexpected study in problem solving.

Peer and Poke

Kittyumpkins starts about six feet away from the napkin, walking in concentric circles. Slowly, and hunkered down he makes his way, closer and closer to the offending crumpled fabric. When he finds himself about two feet away he stops and darts his arm (front leg, whatever, it’s my story) out and tucks it back, not getting anywhere near the napkin, and resumes his circles.

Periodically he stops and tries again until he gets almost close enough to touch it and then scares himself and backs away, with significantly less dignity than you would expect of a cat, and he starts the circles again.

Prod and Pounce

If you haven’t gotten bored by this point and taken the napkin away, he makes his way back around and repeats the reach and tuck until he gets close enough to touch it. At which point he decides what to do with the napkin, usually: lick it, lay down on it, or ignore it and go find a catnip mouse.

And while all of this is literally true, it also functions as a metaphor for how I deal with new things. Peer and poke. Prod and pounce. Why yes, I do love sprawling out in sunny patches, biting people who rub my tummy, and running into a room like the Devil himself is after me and then looking around nonchalantly, why do you ask?

I don’t have a question for you this time, but you can borrow my metaphor if you want, just bring it back clean, Kittyumpkins hates being dirty.

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In the comments:

We’re being open here, sharing and saying things we don’t always say out loud.What helps: Sharing your stories and Ideas. Cheering and telling what works/worked for you. What hurts: shoulds, harshness, and such. (I used to teach first grade, I can’t help it.)

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