Our new kitten, Bobby, is 16 weeks old! We’ve seen him grow from a tiny 6 week old bundle of black (with just a splodge of white) fur, fresh from the Shoreditch warehouse where he was found with his mum and four siblings, into a teenage tearaway desperate to make his way in the world.
In that time he’s
entered our hearts and turned our house into a home. Incredibly, he’s trained Brian, my husband, to tidy his newspapers away (if he doesn’t Bobby tears them into pieces and chases them around the room!) and put dirty dishes into the dishwasher (to stop Bobby licking them and being sick) – skills I’ve not managed to teach him in 35 years of marriage. At the time of writing Bobby is still not officially allowed into the bedroom (he’s working on that one) which means that we have to sleep with the door shut while Bobby has the run of the house – something’s not right about that!
So what else does Bobby teach us? And what’s that got to do with yoga? Well Ahimsa – non-violence and non-injury comes to mind. We’ve fallen over Bobby a few times as he dashes past us in a black blur and on one occasion I shut the dishwasher quickly to stop him jumping in and nearly caught him in the door. Other times Bobby’s launched himself across the room or ended up perched on our head – but compassion and love for this little being in our charge means we end up half falling down the stairs or putting up with sharp little claws digging into our private bits rather than hurt him in any way. Consideration and compassion indeed. Ahimsa in action – even in these small ways.
One of the hardest teachings to follow is Aparigraha – non-attachment. As Bobby grows
there’s no holding him back and seeing him venture further away from us into the garden is a constant balancing act between keeping him safe and letting him go. But we know Bobby has to be himself and we have to love and enjoy him for what he is – appreciating what he gives us and allowing him to live life to the full.
I notice that Aparigraha also means the non-accepting of gifts so I hope Bobby’ll forgive me rejecting his mousy offerings in the future. Well, he is a yogi cat!