Poppy, on the left, is the Evil Genius and the Queen of the Pack (note she has the remote control), though she does suffer occassional embarrassments from her hair fetish, which can be difficult to get untangled from. Cali, on the right, is a Zen Buddhist Kitty by Day, and a Ninja Kitty by Night. She actually has a "look" for each of her personnas. Above we've caught her in "the change" - like the Hulk, her green eyes are beginning to show, and soon she'll become Ninja Kitty by Night. Aagh! Run! Flee!
Nicolai, named after the Alaska village and Iditarod checkpoint by an 8-year-old Iditarod enthusiast (now 15 going on 30), is the bad-boy scapegoat. He's the Boss, and the loaner. If he could smoke and grease his hair back, he would. He's Thomas O'malley the Alley Cat with an attitude.
This is his most innocent face.
"Yeah, I'm real innocent. Just wait until she leaves the room!"
Cute to a one-time observer, but when this happens all the time, and you see the waftering fur on the counters, and they're grazing on watery chunks of God-knows-what in the drain trap, and they're licking on what laying on the counters?...Agh! No!!
So, since I've lately been studying Byron Katie, I decided to apply her four-question technique to this situation. It starts with making a statement about something that really really bothers you in your life - something that creates struggle. My statement: I don't want the cats to get on the counters. Then you ask these four questions:
1) Is it true? My firm and emphatic reply was "YES!"
2) Is it absolutely true? My more thoughtful, still firm reply was "Yes."
3) How do you react when you think this thought? I get tense, I feel anger and frustration. They're impertinent! Disrespectful! It pisses me off! (Disprespectful? At this point, I'm sniggering at myself, but this is really how into this "story" I get!)
4) Who would you be without the thought? I felt good, peaceful. I had visions of the cats playing on the counters in the sunlight. In front of me. Never-before-seen-footage of them walking about the stove, the toaster, the fruit bowl. No problem. In fact, I was calm, more relaxed, more loving toward them and everyone around me in the room. I felt nothing but love toward them.
And the final step to the process is that you turn your statement around: I want the cats to get on the counters. And as Byron Katie says, "Yes, that's good, but there's one more way to turn it around - what is it?"
I want to get on the counters.
I laughed out loud! (The cats flew off the couch - "Run! She's gone mad!") How hilarious! How silly! And yet I think about the cats and me on the counter, playing, being happy. And why not? Let it go. There are better battles to fight.
And that's just it, isn't it? The Universe is always loving and humorous. Always, every time, without question. The only battles out there are the ones we choose.
And I found that the real trick to this process is that after you ask the questions and see the wisdom, you have to embody the wisdom. You have to walk your new-found truth. Not an easy walk, but one worth taking. All over the counters if you have to. I'm working on it - me and the Ninja cats...