Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dobby: His Wisdom, My New Year's Resolution

In an effort to cheer moi up, The Fredster went a-diggin' through some old photographs of Our Little Idiot, Dobby the Runt, back when he was an otherworldly kitten.

Those old eyes and wizened face were what won us over to begin with -- and how, in almost every photo, however grouped, whomever served as photographer, his sweet little face came shining through like a slightly bored nebula.

I will give you a moment to ponder what a "slightly bored nebula" might look like.

In fact, I will sit here with you, and ponder in tandem. Hope you don't mind Ponder Company!


Today, Dobby is my buddy, my pal. He also figures in my very first resolution of the new year, now not old, but no longer new, either. But because Dobby is part of the wording, I find myself remembering my pledge more often than not.

What is it, you ask?

Like I would tell you!

Just joshing. I will divulge the Dobby Part, and try to explain it, too.

It goes: yadda yadda yadda and remember that Dobby is very wise.

How is he wise, and more importantly, how the heck do I translate that into some real form of behavioral change in myself? Well, in large part, it can all be summarized by The Dobster's Way Of Asking For What He Wants.

It is, of course, The Purity of The Dobster's Way that holds the secret and contains the magic. He never invests his askings with too much desire, and hardly ever with any personalization of intent. Above all, he wastes no time conniving, planning the best approach, fussing over timing or appropriate ambience.

He's too happy a soul to be manipulative. Something occurs to him, bells chime, his eyes light up, and meow, there he is, request ready. No wasted motion or emotion.

His synapses don't burn up with worry.

He doesn't get pissed off when his desires aren't met. He did his damnedest, he asked, and thems is the breaks, as I used to say. (And apparently still do.)

His requests might be turned aside all day but it never occurs to him that anyone would not give him what he wants out of any kind of spite or wicked intention.

Somehow, this trust that he proffers makes the creatures that he meets all want to try very hard to give him just what he has asked for.

He is good natured and willing to be wholeheartedly a fool. That's pretty much it. I strive to be as good natured and wholeheartedly, unabashedly foolish as my cat, Dobby, seen here at a very young age with his brother, Speckle Belly White Foot, who is apparently trying to commit

[c]atricide. Actually, I think that might have been Fuzz Bucket diving for his jugular.

(All his siblings found great homes, by the way.)

As final and further evidence of his "slightly bored nebula" shining star face, here's a group shot. I wish you could experience him. He never fails to make me laugh but can also serve as a soft, warm comfort.

He just brought me his yarn ball, asking to play fetch.

How did he know that's just what I wanted to do?

Did you know that Fred practically birthed this little guy? Dobby was the last kitten to arrive. Marmy Fluffy Butt, not exactly firing on all her Mother cylinders, decided she'd had enough, and just QUIT. Laid her wacky head down for a snooze, leaving Dobby in the precarious position of being not quite delivered!

Already the smallest, he lagged in all the stages of development, behind his confrères by a good 2-3 days. We worried that he was blind and deaf for the longest time.

Then there were the mystifying behaviors -- most notably, he preferred gamely climbing his mother to the joy of nursing, and in this manner missed a lot of meals! But he did get to some imaginary, secret mountaintop. He appeared at the bottom of most piles, was poked, bitten, and smacked with exuberant regularity. Luckily, he came out of it with stupendous smarts and the patience of Job.

This is my favorite picture of Dobby. He has unusual staying power and focus. Fred was at his computer, and offered Dobby a very small box to sit in. Twenty minutes or so went by, and Fred began to feel that feeling of "someone is staring at me." Yes, shock of all shocks, it was our prodigious cat. Doggedly determined to stay in his box until acknowledged by the Alpha, Fred.

(Fred was a psych major and specialized in neuropsychology. He believes that the phenomenon of *feeling* a gaze is not just some fluke or conditioned response. He thinks that there is transfer of energy involved, as well as a sense that we've yet to discover -- we simply lack the ability to render the experience tangible.)

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