NOTE: I wrote this post several years ago when Amelia was a kitten and Greg was still with us. I'm posting it on our new website today, Christmas Day, to honor Greg's beautiful, loving, and calm nature, which Amelia and I sorely miss . . .
Meet Amelia, who has been driving me crazy the past few weeks. She is much too bouncy, being a kitten with all the endless energy and curiosity that kittendom brings with it.
Some months ago, I lost my beautiful soulmate cat Mombasa, and after grieving deeply for her, Greg and I decided it might be a good idea to get a kitten to bring some joy back into our home. I found Amelia on a rescue website and fell in love with her beautiful face. No one ever asked me how long it had been since I’d had a kitten. We had gotten Mombasa when she was five years old, and she was already a wise Buddha cat. The last time I had a kitten was twenty-four years ago.
I fell in love with Amelia as soon as I saw her and delighted in getting all the best things for her — the new dishes, the cute food mat, the adorable cat bed, just the right foods, the 6-foot cat tree I put in front of the big window so she could watch the birds, and some new toys to add to our collection.
The first few weeks were wonderful. I was so busy taking care of her and playing with her that I began to pull out of my depressed state. And as I felt better, I began to get back to work. Amelia did not understand the concept of work. So I began trying to train her to be a grown-up and told her all the things she should not do. She continued to be a kitten.
We began to quarrel. The relationship was degrading rapidly.
And then this morning I was doing my meditation using a lovely series from Calm.com that takes concepts and stories from Winnie the Pooh. Today’s meditation was about authenticity. The way the program works is that you meditate for 7 minutes and then the narrator shares a little story from Winnie the Pooh.
The story the narrator shared today was In Which Tigger Was Unbounced:
Rabbit is upset that Tigger is so bouncy and convinces Pooh that they need to take Tigger to the forest and leave him there for a day. He says that when they return Tigger will be humbled by the experience and will be a Humble Tigger.
When they get deep into the forest Tigger bounces off by himself, and Rabbit tells Pooh and Piglet they must quickly go to another spot so Tigger can’t find them. When Rabbit is sure they have lost Tigger, they begin to head home. Of course, as it turns out they are the ones who are lost.
Tigger returns home safe and sound. Christopher Robin learns that Rabbit, Pooh, and Piglet are missing, so he and Tigger set out to find them. They find Pooh and Piglet, but Rabbit has wandered off somewhere.
"Tigger began tearing around the forest and at last a Small and Sorry Rabbit heard him. And the Small and Sorry Rabbit rushed through the mist at the noise and it suddenly turned into Tigger; a Friendly Tigger, a Grand Tigger, a large and helpful Tigger, a Tigger who bounced, if he bounced at all, in just the beautiful way a Tigger ought to bounce. “Oh Tigger, I am glad to see you,” cried Rabbit.”
After the meditation ended, I couldn’t stop smiling. When I was with Mombasa, I was able to be like Pooh. But now I had a Tigger on my hands, and I had morphed into Rabbit. And when I threw up my hands and told Greg I just couldn’t deal with her, Greg took Amelia into his office and they got along just fine. Because now Greg was Pooh. And I was jealous.
I’m laughing as I write this because I see that I thought I needed to be Rabbit because now I was serious. I was working. And Amelia needed to “understand” that.
And now? As soon as I stopped yelling Stop That! at Amelia every time she started to do something that my Rabbit persona thought was too bouncy, she began to calm down. And I am becoming more like Greg and learning to appreciate Amelia's lively and authentic kitten behavior.
Amelia has begun to bounce a little less. And I’m beginning to feel more like Pooh. And Greg continues to provide back-up when we need it . . .