Furry Little Gurus

by Eric Baldino

Furry Little Gurus

Sometimes our greatest insights in life come not from the spoken words of a guru sitting cross legged in a Tibetan monastery, nor from flipping through dusty volumes of Plato's Symposium. Sometimes it comes from observing the simplest of life's beings. In my particular case the unlikely teachings came from four tiny kittens.

  Other than color and ...size, they appeared equal to one another at birth. Chloe is the largest of the litter of four kittens. She's a calico with Sky blue eyes and a distinct purr that sounds more like a rattle than a hum. Rosie has emerald green eyes and a velvety coat that is black as night and shimmers when the light shines on her just right. Raccoon colored grey and black is T.J's signature look, his paws are diproportunately large for his tiny little frame, his face oval in shape and fur course to the touch. Last but not least is Flower. Flower looks like she is the victim of a painter who recklessly spattered a mixture of brown, white and orange paint all over her body. She is very small. In fact she is but half the size of her siblings. All kittens have that newborn kitten smell, but Flower's was particularly noticeable as being similar to a combination of earth and talcum powder.

At about one week of age differences other than that of color and size began to appear. Personality soon became the most distinguishing characteristics among them. Chloe grew much quicker than the others, but despite her size she is also the least motivated, when she isn't eating she's sleeping. Rosie has not yet learned to master the use of her back legs, so instead she just squirms around like a giant earth worm. At first I thought this would be a disadvantage to her, however Rosie has a very effective technique of squirming her way to the bottom of the sleeping pile which in turn helps her stay the warmest. T.J appears to be the most curious of the four. He often sticks his little head outside of the box he calls home to see what else life has to offer besides four cardboard walls, three furry siblings and a mama that frequently sits on top of him. T.J also struggles with a persistent eye infection that results in him having only one eye open a great deal of the time.

   Although Flower is the smallest in stature she is the most intelligent. This is demonstrated daily as she patiently waits for the other kittens to curl together for sleep, she then confidently climbs her way to the top of the pile of kittens to join them in slumber, often this means using the face of the other kittens as rungs on a ladder.

   Interestingly enough there is a lot to learn from these furry little creatures. You can be big and strong, but it's of little value without motivation. Physical disabilities can be trumped by creativity. Lack of eye sight isn't near as disabling as lack of curiosity, and where you may lack size and strength you can make up for with a willingness to use your brain.

We humans are blessed with intellectual capacity, and with that, the ability to be aware of our many differences. We spend countless hours in life discriminating others, and feeling sorry for ourselves. Kittens don't label, judge, compare or discriminate, they simply accept what God gives them, and adapt.

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