So here’s the story. Last Monday, my husband Steve, Daisy, and I heard the mewling of a kitten trapped under a hedgerow. She was about 3 weeks old, and there was no question that she was coming home with us. I could feel her skeleton through her skin, and she cried the whole way home. Even if you don’t like cats, you have to admit the kitten is cute with her cream-colored fur.
But Daisy is allergic. As in skin-tested-allergic. So the kitten had to stay in the garage until we found her a home. For the next 36 hours or so, I was popping into the garage to feed her, play with her, and pet her. She warmed up to me almost immediately, and we were enjoying one another’s company. I’d say I was spending 10 minutes every two hours or so. (Daisy was not happy hearing cooing sounds coming from the garage. Steve’s role was to keep her from losing her mind.)
This little furry thing was a distraction, no doubt about it. I was working on finding her a home and found myself wanting to spend time with her. My mind kept bouncing back to her no matter what I was engaged in. To be honest, I found it hard to immerse myself in anything else.
Kittens in the garage. And I got to thinking (because one thing nearly always makes me think of something else) that kittens in the garage represent those things in our life that draw us in–whether good for us or detrimental. I can get drawn into drama at work, the problems of my children, a new idea, an old idea that should have been jettisoned a while back, and worries about things big and small. Our minds can be like tape measures, snapping back to whatever it is that compels us at that moment. We can also have a KITG that keeps us going, gives us energy and hope in tough times, a trip to look forward to or lunch with a friend.
While I would not go back and change how we took care of the kitten, the whole episode was a good reminder to watch out for the kittens in the garage. To practice discipline of the mind. To be selective in where let our minds wander.
A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.
But what about the kitten? After trying unsuccessfully to find her a home with one of my friends of my friends, the kitten, named Latte by one of my team members, was packed up in a cat carrier given to me by a dear friend, V. I took her to Paws and Whiskers, a cat rescue about 30 miles from our home. At first, they were not able to take her given their census. I encouraged the manager to look at her because “she’s interesting.” Indeed, the manager promptly fell in love with him (yes, the kitten is a male…the color is a giveaway if you’re one of those people who’s in the know) and decided that he could stay, agreeing that the name “Latte” suited him. I left, grateful to this place, a bright, clean, good smelling, a feline only, no-kill non-profit rescue.
Then what happened? The next day I called to see how he was doing, and the person who answered the phone looked for him for a while with no luck. She finally came back to the phone and told me that Latte had gone home the day before with her manager.
What about you? Do you have kittens in the garage, distractions, old stories, hurts, drama, playthings that keep you from being focused and intentional? What can you do to both take care of those kittens while also taking care of the rest of your world? And what kittens grant you amusement, play, excitement, and joy?