Sometimes, I need to take a break from the horrors of Parental Alienation, Racism and the other serious, difficult even horrible subjects we wrestle with in this blog to take delight in the lighter, happier things in life. Joyful things like kittens.
My better half, Rhys, and I recently have given over our lives to a pair of eight-week-old kittens, Jeeves and Wooster. This was my first time as a cat mum and the more I watch Jeeves and Wooster, the more I realise that kittens can teach us so much. The cat posters were right: Everything you need to know in life you can learn from a 700 g feline.
1. No Boredom Allowed
It’s so easy to say ‘I’m bored’. Kittens kinda shoot that in the foot. They’ve shown me that the world is an endless delight to be explored from top to bottom, stem to stern. There are things to be climbed, things to be sniffed, things to rub one’s teeth on. (Why!?) They’re only limited by their imaginations, ability to climb and the ceiling. Cotton wool is so much more interesting than a ball.
Jeeves and Wooster have inspired me to live more vibrantly, more curiously, more energetically. Too often, I’ve been guilty of succumbing to boredom rather than putting forth the effort to seek out the awesomeness of life. It’s much too easier to collapse in front of the telly with a glass of wine and allow it to numb my brain cells into oblivion.
These 700g felines have put me to shame. They’ve shown me again what a fascinating place the world is. I used to know it when I was a child. I see it again through the eyes of my kittens.
2. Eat Blissfully
Jeeves and Wooster have spent most of their young lives with gravy on their noses. There’s nothing they love more than their pâté with gravy. I’ll never forget the day Jeeves wandered into the kitchen, looked me straight in the eye and let out a miaow bigger than he was. ‘Gimme my damn pâté and no one gets hurt’ he was saying, clear as a bell.
They eat like pigs and grow like weeds. That’s just as it should be.
Humans are the only species who feel shame for digging into their chow and, now and then, having gravy on their noses. That’s just wrong. Food is a great blessing and we should receive it as joyfully as our kittens do.
3. Love Confidently
When cats don’t want to be touched, they’re wizard at setting boundaries.
But when they want a kiss and a cuddle, nothing can keep them off your face. They have no worry of being unlovable, no compunction about asking for love. They inspire me to be less inhibited about giving and receiving physical affection from Rhys. Less I-don’t-deserve-to-be-loved.
By waking me up with little whiskery kisses and lulling me to sleep with their happy, raspy purring, Jeeves and Wooster are teaching me to give love freely and accept love confidently, just as they do.
4. Sleep Intensely
It would take a bullhorn to wake Wooster. When he sleeps, he sleeps. It may even be more important to him than eating, but the jury is still out on that.
They sleep where they fall. So why are we humans so afraid to go to sleep? Why do we push ourselves so hard, existing on only five or six hours a night. That’s not healthy.
So take a leaf from Jeeves’ and Woosters’ books. Sleep when you’re tired. Don’t push yourself unduly. You’ve got nothing to prove by being constantly on the go-go-go. It’s okay to sleep like Wooster and snore like Jeeves.
5. Wash Fastidiously
Why the back of a knee needs to licked off fifty times a day is beyond me, but I do appreciate how neat and tidy Jeeves and Wooster keep themselves, each other and occasionally me. You might even say they’re overgroomed but I appreciate their devotion to cleanliness and wish a little bit of their OCD would rub off on the dog.
Maybe they know something we don’t. Washing is a soothing, calming, relaxing process. It gives great pleasure. It’s not simply a ‘necessary evil’; it’s a way to give and receive happiness, to restore serenity, to ground and centre us. The Japanese have known for centuries the power of a hot soak in an onsen. Jeeves and Wooster may be ambivalent about water but they’re great believers in cleanliness.
Together, these furry devils have turned my world on its ear. I see life through their wide-open, staring yellow-green eyes and life has taken on a new beauty, a new fascination, a new liveliness because of Jeeves and Wooster…kittens, comedians, acrobats, love bugs. They give unstintingly of the one thing they have to give: themselves.
Photo by abcrumley