If you were to stop by my house for a visit, my cats would exhibit two very different behaviors. Henry would dive under my bed while Charlie would greet you at the door and show you around. This seems to pretty much sum up their attitudes about life. Henry = suspicious; Charlie = ready to be entertained.
For example, the plumber came over to investigate the reason my sinks refuse to drain. (I’m pretty sure I know why the disposal no longer works; I believe it has something to do with the metal frosting tip that threw itself down the drain . . . but I digress.) Henry ran to hide. Charlie offered to help. You could practically see the little thought balloon between his pointed ears. “What are you doing? Can I see? Can I crawl in your toolbox? Can I smell that? Can I get you a wrench? Can I lay on that? Can I stand on your head while you’re under the sink?” Fortunately the plumber was an obliging soul with cats of his own, so he was fine with a feline assistant. (I did offer to shut Charlie in another room.)
For Charlie, the universe is one fun adventure after another. Like Adam and Eve, he lives in a world created for his good pleasure. Unfortunately, also like Adam and Eve, he refuses to believe that anything is off limits. Still, it’s a mostly endearing trait. Many’s the night I’ve awakened in the wee hours to find Charlie’s toy mouse tenderly tucked into my hand on the chance I might rouse myself enough to throw it for him. I find it touching that he assumes I’d want to play at any time. I don’t think he could imagine a reason why I would not.
I wonder what life would be like if we adopted more of Charlie’s attitude? If we looked on everything that came our way as one more thing to enjoy instead of endure. If we approached each new thing as an adventure, looking for how to get the most out of it. Too often, I find myself emotionally hiding under the bed with Henry, waiting for disaster to strike. Lately, though, I’ve begun consciously trying to be more like Charlie.
Except for that thing with the plumber. I’ll leave that to the cat.