Well as the read headed wild free woman said to John: “You know nothing John Snow!” and it’s a strange realization to recognize your inner John Snow. We may not have to brace ourselves beacsuee the winter is coming in an imaginary land of kings, queens, dragons and magic but fall is coming here in the non-literary reality as a time of reflection carved out for deep though and analyzing patterns.
Human kindness is a weird thing, our compassion towards other species is even weirder still in the arrogance of believing that just because we’ve mastered splitting the atom we know all there is to know about nature and the natural course of things. We know nothing. I became aware of this as the new kitten adopted me as his new hairless mama cat. This soft tiny innocent looking thing was designed by nature to make us want to protect it, shelter it from anything harsh in this world (for those who want the intro jump to the “Cute things and what they do to us” post. So, my mission since he came into our household was to make everything smooth for the tiny Robert, as I believed in his helplessness and need of constant sheltering. I become a helicopter kitten mama overseeing his every step. But we have 3 cats and a dog. One cat in particular, a pitch black, 4 month old, shiny lovable demon with the staggering natural instincts to hunt with surgically precise dexterity, was a relay to my new insight as Robert and her started spending more time together. I thought she’s young and wild, unaware of the strength below this muscle packed fur and it seemed to me like she was being too rough with the kitten. She’d jump him, pin him to the floor and bite and pound him until he let out an annoyed meow. Then she’d let go and repeat again. The first few times I stopped her as soon as it began believing she was hurting him, but then a window of insight into my own prejudice opened and I decided to let it run its course and watch what happens as I noticed the tiny dude was not afraid of her for doing this. Quite on the contrary, he followed her around like a shadow, actually poking her and playing with her tail to notice him, asking her to do it again. So I sat and watched, realizing how over protective we as humans are. We believe that every screech or temporary discomfort means pain and we forget what nature is. She exposes you to things that force you to get better, makes you practice survival skills in safe environments and simulates fights so that if you ever had to fight a real one where your life depended on the outcome you’d be prepared. They were not fighting. There is nothing I needed to protect Robert from. They were practicing for life and she was teaching him how to be a cat. This rough and tumble play was relationship creation. Now they sleep together and she took over the role of his adopted mom, bathing him and hugging him with her paw when they are not running around jumping each other.
I almost interfered with the natural development of a relationship because I though only our domesticated human way of creating relationships was right. Nature is fierce and strong. She’s not here to overprotect and lull you into security but to teach and challenge your skill. It took eight paws and some puffing and hissing to teach me that it is better to be exposed to things than to be secure. A striking bonus insight is that the black cat, although being 4 times the size of a kitten and able to pin him down each and every time, sometimes lets him win on purpose or pretends to be afraid of him when he puffs up and chases after her. There’s such a balance in all things once we stop meddling. It will work itself out and there is honor and fair play even among beasts. Cats were never fully domesticated, not really. They can be snapped into their wild nature in moments and I’m grateful that those two purring hooligans taught me this. We’re all John Snow, we know nothing.