My quiet peaceful life has recently been totally disrupted – I got two kittens! Well, they’re called kittens, but they sound like baby elephants galloping across the floor, and they can scatter litter tray contents, food, and objects off shelves as if they were a horde of monkeys. They take turns to run between my legs as I’m walking and climb up me when I’m getting their food ready – or on the computer. They lose their toys under chairs, and play with my knitting wool, pens and electric wires instead. They chase my feet and hands when I get into bed, and yowl piteously at the door if I shut them out of the bedroom. Oh, and they love climbing up curtains, on to the toilet seats – on fact anywhere that looks impossible.
At first I wondered why on earth I had decided to put myself through this again – morning routines disrupted, attention distracted, flowers and plants chewed, things knocked over. I should have known better – after all I have had kittens before.
Then I began to notice the gifts they bring.
- They lie on my lap, warm and trusting
- They greet me with loud purrs when I’ve been out
- They make me laugh out loud with their antics
- They tempt me to stop and play with them rather than ploughing on with whatever I’m doing
And they have prompted me to re-examine what’s really important: routines, habits, objects. Some are being adapted to include them, and some are staying, but the review is useful and needed to be prompted.
Above all, they are constant reminders of what being in the moment really means. They don’t hold grudges or sulk, they ask for food if they’re hungry, they sleep if they’re tired, they come for fussing when they want attention, they walk away when they’ve had enough. And we think we humans are evolved!!
Disruption comes in many forms: a child, a pet, a new relationship – a change of some sort in your circumstances. It took me a couple of weeks to realise that it’s a gift, and I chose to take it on! When it’s not something you’ve chosen – an illness, a break-up, a job loss – it may take longer. Nonetheless, when we look back, most of us can see that it was a good thing in some ways, that it helped us to revise our lives and really recognise what is important.
Oh! Smokey has just decided that stroking him is more important than carrying on writing – time to stop!!