Cats

Processing Emotions with Hoover

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So I asked a few friends, who are brainy, what’s it like to feel anyway?

The cerebral types grunted at me  and didn’t have time for my silly little questions. Sigh, they just ignored my survey questions handwritten on little flowery note paper … I even put curly-cues on every one. So I’m left with conjecture. I’m making this all up. If I were actually brainy, and could serve as a subject matter expert, that would have been ideal and I wouldn’t have had to send around a poll at work.

I can’t be a subject matter expert though! When I stand beside truly brilliant people, I get the giggles thinking about all that I do not know … and I hold my breath and hope they don’t ask me any questions about Goethe or, God forbid, that I tell them that Igor Stravinsky was an author. Bury me. Now. I did that. #Lastweek. But! This week I’m so smart, and I’m going to tell you about what it’s like when smart people feel emotions. Yep. You’ll be looking at samples of swamp water next.

Anyway, thinkers who skate toward the most meaning-packed moments often view emotions like giving a large cat a bath in a bathtub. If you’ve never had a large cat or a bathtub, ask your doctor if this is the right analogy for you. However, for those of us who have had said cat and said tub can tell you that prior to bath time there is that sense that all is right with your home, and your world. The only thing is that Hoover needs a bath. That’s do-able, right? Just gonna get him wet. In just a bit, he’ll be clean and fuzzy. Right.

(c) Copyright Samantha J. Penhale
My creature crashed in the sunshine
(c) Copyright Samantha J. Penhale

So you sort of plan how this is going to go, tepid to warmish water. A little bit of yummy cat shampoo. How bad can this be, right? Extra towels. Cat. “I thought I saw a Putty Tat.” You leave the water running and go find Hoover. Who plants his claws in you. Not getting in the tub. Tub. No tub. No.No.No. Bam! All the feet are spread like flying cat, tail going out the fifth way. Feline F-bombs are flying everywhere. You’re soaked, scratched. Clearly you’re not winning this one yet. You shift gears and realize that you’re in this thing until its done now, Pffft.

And so it is with emotions. It just all seems so ‘do-able’ to shed a few tears. To process this or that. Now. Like right.now. That makes sense, right? Right here at my desk … right? But then all the feelings plant their claws in you, and you are pinned. You’re stuck until you unravel, un-braid every last “She said, He said” until you’re drained. I don’t know about you but when I feel through a situation, I toss in a few extra issues: world hunger, Canada’s relationship with HRH Queen Elizabeth, the situation in Darfur, extreme weight loss … Okay, that was a lie. I have never cried about extreme weight loss. Last thought is that some emotions can completely baffle us. Love. Love completely baffles me. There’s no instruction manual for that one, can’t help you. It’s different for everyone. But that’s the point. It’s different. And that can be scary, eh? The unknown.

In spite of the wet cat planted on my chest, I have to laugh at myself, and be okay … with myself. If I was good at dealing with emotions I would rollick and roll with them, they would course through me like waves. Whether its confusion, frustration, happiness, sadness, love or anger, I would just let them run their course. But instead, kaboom! It’s time to feel an emotion. And there I am in the tub with Hoover … till it’s done.

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Ciao!

My Inner Manx

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Clancy is pretty sure he’s a Tiger Manx who rules his domain with unquestioned authority. 

In reality he’s a Tabby with a long swishy tail, whose tummy sort of flaps in the breeze when he trots through the garden.

This inner belief that he’s really a Manx causes him to strut with a stealthy gate. Pretending to be quite fierce, he paces the edge of the yard watching for intruders and challenging anyone who would defy him. Late at night he pounces on the lightening bugs and moths who cross his path. Bounding across the yard he stalks a butterfly meandering through the Clematis. All flying folk fear him and only ever so carefully whiz in his way.

Clancy stalked and he stared until one day a passing feral hopped onto the edge of the fence. Clancy howled. Surely Mama would rescue him soon.

The stray cat only grimaced atop the chain fence and was soon on his way. Clancy’s Mama scooped him up as he shuttered to think of his near-death escapade.

Hmm, maybe he was just a Tabby after all.