Since Virtute and I started this blog almost a year ago, many people have approached me asking how Virtute became such a wise cat. I’ve thought a lot about it myself and though I have my theories, I decided that it would be best to ask him.
So last night as I was about to go to bed, I interrupted his nightly grooming session of Gumption to ask him about wisdom. I told him that a lot of folks had described him as being a ‘wise cat’ and asked him what he thought about it. He paused considering the implications of his answer, and then explained, “Many people learn from books, they learn from sciences or maths or other academic disciplines, these are important avenues to get to know things. I tend to learn through experience, but not only experience, but careful and thoughtful listening”. I asked him, what experiences had been most influential to him.
Responding much quicker than normal, “Oh that’s easy. I learned most of what I know from Jenny. When I was a kitten she taught me many things – to communicate my needs clearly, to give affection when needed, to create space when it is warranted, to be caring but self-sufficient. To go through the world thoughtful and questioning and open-minded. Gumption will get there too, but your approach is a lot more hands-off.”
It was a loving tribute to Jenny, but I had to ask, if there was any particular wisdom Jenny had shared with him that helped him along his path. “Oh for sure,” he replied. “Jenny has always been the best at one-liner philosophy – which helps when you have a blog like this.” I asked for an example. He responded, “I’ll give you my three recent favourites: number one – after coming home from a long day at school you were playing music really loudly. She walked in and said, ‘Can you turn that off, jazz is loud and annoying.’ Just brilliant satire. Number two – after completing an almost all-nighter assignment, she sighed and flipped on her gameboy and exclaimed, ‘Work hard. Play hard.’ Brilliant timing. Number three – last night as you ran into the house with an urgency that scared me, Jenny called up to you, ‘You have the bladder of a kitten.’ Which is an undisputed truth.”
As Virtute and I laughed at these small doses of Jenny philosophy, Gumption suddenly woke up groggily and rushed to her litter box. At least one of the cats learned something from me.