By Lauren Merryfield

Upon the phone table he goes, knocking things down irrelevant to cats. Mikey knows just what he wants. His frenzy is short-lived when he finds only the plastic box. Oh no! He sees what he wants within that clear-lidded box, but has not yet figured out how to open it, beholding the treasure.

Plan B comes forth in his catly mind–bother my ownees. Knock down more things; that gets them up. Squeak long ones, even put an M at the beginning; that reeeeeally gets them.

And so it goes, until one of us lifts the lid to the best toy ever!

Back and forth, up and down, over the carpet, through the door, in circles and other designs, the tiny, red laser beam dances, to sheer delight of all three cats.

After observing the feline frenzy for several minutes, husband, Jim concludes that each cat has his/her characteristic manner in which to handle this elusive red dot.

Jaspur, the bitey one, tries to bite and/or eat the tiny morsel, to no avail.

Mikey pounces upon it, as if to kill, though the miniscule prey moves on.

Gabrielle, the youngest of the three, still kitteny in many ways, runs circle after circle around the too-swiftly-darting toy.

Their delight is unanimous! Their inability to eat, squash, or pin down the beam seems not to bother them, for whatever it is they really want to accomplish — playing with the light — is an accomplishment in itself.

How might we learn from these cats, with 3 separate ways of handling this dot in their lives?

We can be determined to find what we want to do and go through a few snags, if necessary, to get it. We can separate the determination from all the other thoughts we might have, telling us not to do it; there isn’t time; who cares; it’s better for someone else to have it because I don’t deserve it; I don’t know how to get it; etc.

We can discover that our goal is similar to that of many others, but when several of us perceive the same thing, we come up with individually different ways to respond to it and make it our own, with our own unique way of making whatever it is happen.

We can take the one thing some of us have in common and share it, taking turns.

We can discover which ways work for us and which do not; eliminating those means that may harm another in some way.

And the list goes on.

Let’s learn from Jaspur, Mikey and Gabrielle, as they are totally themselves, doing their own thing, with the best toy ever!

(Editor’s note: The last I knew, has these laser light toys.)

Lauren has written about cats since she was in grade-school. She is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and has contributed human and animal-interest articles to several publications.