kitten season

From top to bottom: Stevie Wonder; David Bowie; Buddy Holly; Elvis Costello

It is kitten season. Or at least the lady at the humane society says so. The evidence is everywhere. Tiger stripes on a 5 inch frame, claw marks on the couch, high-pitched meows at inappropriate hours of the night, and of course the “Ooh’s and ahh’s,” of visitors. We have four.
Elvis Costello- She is a tiger-striped little doll. She is the most cautious of them all, but still she plays. She earned her name because she was the first to meow. Once she learned the skill she sang through the night, at first she was named for that other Elvis, but then we realized she was a little punk.

After we named her, it made sense to name all the kittehs after musical legends.

Stevie Wonder- He is the rebel. From the second he could teeter forward on shaky legs he was on adventure hunt. The first to scale the couch, the first to fall, the first to discover the joy of hiding in shoes!
Then we have Buddy Holly, he is calm but sneaky. He is cuddly and sleeps a lot. He seems like a middle child, always trying to fit in somewhere, usually he just gets board and sleeps some more.
David Bowie is so sweet. She is the cutest by far, with her tiger stripes and fluffy white patches. Her pink nose and large inquisitive eyes, she is a total lady and very prissy. A total mamma’s girl.
They have learned out to climb. This of course made us all very concerned because the inevitable next is that they would learn how to fall. Sure enough, last night Stevie Wonder scaled the couch as he loves to do, and went immediately to walk the back. It reminded me of the scene from Anne of Green Gables when Anne walks the ridge-pole. The other kittens, momma cat-Kat Beasley, and all of the roommates present, watched breath-held, as Stevie Wonder swayed precariously to the left, and then a few steps later to the right. We all cringed when he swayed to the floor and landed with an audible “thud.”
Stevie Wonder was fine.
This morning when I came into the living room and the kittens were taking turns launching themselves off the couch. Like lemmings on replay, or kids jumping off bunk-beds they alternately ran up the couch and then threw themselves off it. Their furry bodies first tumbling to down, then landing spread eagle on the floor.
They had no regard for the fact that they could neither land correctly nor walk straight after, they had discovered that jumping was enough fun that it didn’t matter how they landed.
It got me thinking. Dangerous, I know. Does it take falling by accident to learn how to jump on purpose?
Maybe that is how it is in relationships too. Maybe you have to fall a couple times, to live through the pain and embarrassment, to know that hitting bottom might hurt, but it won’t kill us. After that, jumping into a new relationship might be scary, but its a lot more fun too. There is something to be said for throwing yourself into the throws of passionate love willingly. Even if you land spread eagle with your heart splat on the floor, it was worth the thrill of letting go intentionally.

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