As soon as I put my gym bag on the floor, my new seven-month old kitten was sitting on it, playing with the straps. I could scold him, but for some reason he thinks it’s just more fun, me chasing him with a spray bottle or piece of paper. Playing with the bag is fun, being chased for doing it is even more fun.
When I kick the spiral toy out of my way in the kitchen, we’re playing soccer. All objects on the kitchen table are fun to push onto the floor. Napkins and toilet paper are the best fun around as you can unravel them then roll around in them on the floor.
Furniture, that’s a launching pad for attack on the other members of the household, two older females, one feline one not. Stalking is also easier with furniture barricades.
How do I explain to this good-natured, playful kitten that walking on the table is very, very bad and I’m very, very serious when I say don’t do it?
The flawless flow of the household has been aggressively disrupted by this ten-pound ball of fur. Doesn’t this kitten understand it took years to develop that perfect set of habits that assures optimal use of time and resources? His “playful” actions are upsetting the entire routine.
As Napoleon Dynamite would say, “Kitten, you’re ruining my life!”
This Sounds Familiar
Thinking of the disruption of my life by the energy of a new feline brings to mind our president, Donald Trump. Like my kitten, he’s a disruptor.
Metaphorically speaking, Trump has knocked things off the table, ruined the furniture and rolled in the toilet paper all the while acting like it’s the best fun he’s ever had. Like my kitten, he doesn’t understand that for those disrupted, this is serious business; this is real. You may not need toilet paper, but I do.
“Trump, you’re ruining my life!”
In response to Trump, there has been great polarization. The positive side of polarization is that is activates dormant issues that truly need to be resolved.
The negative side, clearly, is the waste of energy by people who choose to bait but have no true desire to find common ground. When this occurs, it’s a stealing of energy by what I call “psychic vampires.”
Possibly for those disliking the Trump disruption, strategies I use for the kitten may be of use. The kitten’s playfulness is both his greatest asset and his greatest liability.
- Doors – In order to keep the kitten from disrupting activities that might truly cause harm (like getting stuck behind the washing machine), doors are useful. I simply close the door and the disruption ceases. While shutting someone out seems an avoidance of issues, don’t underestimate the power to cut the disruptor off at the pass. Possibly the wall Trump has promised can be built a few thousand miles north of its original location.
- Distraction – Playfulness as a liability means that I simply need to toss a squeaky or jingly toy to an area away from the center of activity and off the kitten goes. He’s a smart kitten but this is his kryptonite. He can’t resist. This clearly works for Trump as well although he seems to use it in reverse, to keep his detractors away from the center of activity.
- Sleep time – While a kitten doesn’t sleep much, it’s still a great time to do things that don’t create a lot of kitten-stimulating noise. I’m not sure how much Trump sleeps, but possibly late-night sessions with whispering can help those that want to progress in a somewhat straight line achieve some forward motion.
Those with cats may know that they enjoy playing “laser.” You point a laser pointer at the wall and floor and they run after it. At first I felt a bit guilty about this as there’s no way to catch the laser so it seems kind of cruel. The cats seem to know in some way they will never catch the laser but never tire of the chase which removed my guilt. They like it and it helps them burn off some of their hunter energy.
In a way, we all are chasing after laser points, ephemeral and non-existent images projected before us so that we go running. Like cats, we never seem to tire of the chase no matter that we never catch the dot.
Trump the disruptor seems to have created a world of laser pointers projecting red dots over all the walls and floors. Trump is both the kitten chasing dots and the owner projecting them. He seems to chase his own dots.
Trump is a kitten – a kitten who got a hold of the laser.