on the seriousness of fun

 

Oh, man! Some really interesting stuff just happened!

Let’s see if I can remember it all…

First, though, I’m going to start by sharing a TED talk that is as fascinating as it is short!

Actually. I’m going to share it, rewatch it myself, then try to remember all the stuff that happened.

 

OH MAN
is how things grow, how positivity and inspiration – spread.
And I am all about trying to find creative solutions
In partnership with all involved parties (because I believe that generally, if one person is hurting, everyone around that person is as well, to some degree), and with consent
to find novel solutions
Which brings me to this morning. Pico, my cat, is one of those people that, like me, tends to not eat, not feel hungry, when he is upset about something
He has good days and bad days
and there are a lot of variables that can swing that pendulum in one direction over another
If he starts out on the wrong foot, so to speak, in the morning
And goes outside before he eats anything
He tends to stay out all day
And, I’m not sure about this yet, but I feel like he tends to not sleep as well those nights, because it’s scary outside, and his anxiety builds over the course of day
And the next day his upper respiratory tract infection (which is almost gone now, is going in an upward trend, but has occasional backslides) seems worse
And will then make him even less likely to want to eat, the next day
Which will make him go outside to hunt, which will increase his stress/anxiety, and impact the quality of his sleep the next night –
And so on
unless a way is found to stop that progression
To slow that roll, find a place within that chain of causality in which we can, together, change the course of things
So, I try different things
I’ve been keeping him inside until after he’s eaten in the morning
So he can go outside, doesn’t feel trapped- but is less likely to get overwhelmed outside
And is more likely to think clearly, and go back into the guest house if things get to be too much Outside
And that worked, yesterday
But today?
He decided he didn’t like any of the food I bought yesterday, that he used to love
Would not even eat his treats
He went over and sat by the door
And I felt guilty about not letting him outside
So, instead of waiting until after I’d showered
I went straight to a store that I knew had food he likes, that he’s used to
And, on a whim, I bought a new laser pointer
Our old one broke, and there’s one in the main house, but I never think to go over and get it
But when I got back home, all excited
BAM
Another obstacle
Another wall
He would not eat that food, either
What to do?!
I decided to get out the laser pointer
Mostly with the intention of playing with Sisi, our kitten friend
But she was busy eating Pico’s food
So I moved it around in front of Pico
And he didn’t really play
But he watched it
My mom came to give me some mail
And after the door closed, Pico sat by my feet, purring to indicate he would like to be let outside, please
He then meowed once, quietly, politely- beseechingly
It was hard to tell him “no,” but it was one of those “not yet” kind of ones, and that made me feel better
I thought maybe, if his mood had lifted enough to purr- maybe he’d play a little. And maybe, then, he would eat. So I brought back out the laser pointer, and let Sisi chase it around. Pico did not try to catch it, but he did play with her, as she tried to!
And after… he ate! I’d opened a new thing of food, to help him see that it was food
But he even ate some of the one he’d turned down, just a few minutes prior!
Because he is the kind of person who is also a Cat
And I don’t think they have very good memories
But if I can be consistent, and immediate, about opening that door right after he eats, every morning
Either way, I’ve learned just a little bit more about myself, and Pico- and the seriousness with which I think I ought to be approaching fun!

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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