When I look at our kittens, which I do as often as possible, one of these thoughts typically runs through my head:
Oh, I wish I was napping, too,
or, yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking
or, please don’t chew on that
Naps, lovely naps. Don’t you agree naps look sweeter, juicier, more essential, when worn by a kitten? I dart around the apartment, cleaning or shouting orders at people, wondering which of the eighty-five things on my list should come next, and then I see a kitten stretched out in my path, and I’m reminded a nap must be in order. Yes, good idea. I should do that.
And then there are all those times I tell my kids about the boxes society builds around us, all those times I tell them to break free of those boxes, to explore life as they want, to be whoever they want, when a kitten comes along and suddenly makes a box look so right, so comfy, makes a box look like a great idea.
We lug a delivery up the many stairs to our apartment and open it as soon as we catch our breath, we pull the coffee or toilet paper or whatever out of the box, and in creeps a kitten, claiming new space. I look at the kitten in the plain brown container he’s chosen for his own, and I wholeheartedly agree. I want a box to climb into, too, now and then. I’d only bring in things I like, my cup and my tablet and maybe a pillow, and I’d leave all the rest. All the annoying people, all the bills, the hectic schedule, those things can stay out. Not in my box.
I’d love to be easily diverted like a kitten. A bug on the glass, a slash of sunshine coming through the window, a thin little string dangling in front of me. When I’m going a bit nuts, when I’m beside myself waiting for the last episode of GOT, bummed about a rejection from an editor, irritated by just about every news feed, if only someone could just come and dangle a piece of string in front of me. If only the irritations and worries could suddenly shrink and pale in comparison to a tiny thread dancing around my living room, just for a few minutes.
Of course, I love the complexity and challenge of life, the pressure of raising kids to be self-sufficient adults with minimal need for therapy, the eternal tug-of-war between doing what I want and doing what I should, the enormous question of which dreams can I turn into reality and which dreams serve me better when they remain dreams. That’s what makes human life exciting.
But then I do love to watch a good kitten, a cute, fuzzy, innocent kitten demonstrating an alternative way of life.
The view from my seat the past two weeks has included IV drip machines and my brother in a hospital bed. I’m here, along with his wife and the rest of the family, to support him and elevate his spirits as he faces a serious challenge life is throwing his way.
In turn, I look to those closest to me for rejuvenation, and one of the best soul-boosting sources for me right now is the steady stream of kitten pics my husband and son are texting daily. Sometimes hourly. The kittens remind me it’s okay to sneak into my box now and then. Maybe I’ll bring my brother and our talks about star trek and tiny homes and excellent stupid 80’s movies, and a kitten to cuddle.