The Kitten Chronicles: Offending Myself – A Lesson in Relating

By Shya Kane

The Kitten Chronicles: Offending Myself – A Lesson in Relating

Shya napping with Baby the kitten

Before I knew it, I was rejected. Our kitten, Baby, turned her back on me and ran away.

How dare she!

It was shocking how the voice in my head offended and hurt itself by the actions of kitten. When she didn’t want to be petted, the voice in my head automatically built strategies of revenge:

If she’s going to take herself away then I’ll take myself away. Next time she wants to be petted, I’ll just ignore her.

I was amazed how offended I felt when she walked (or ran) away when I wanted to pet her. I was surprised by my unexpected knee-jerk reactions, vulnerabilities and insecurities. Each of these was automatically triggered by our new little feline friend. And when those self-offending thoughts were in play, it was easy to ignore all the times she’d been affectionate.

It was also interesting how old losses flowed out of the distant past to be experienced. Spontaneously I remembered Buttons, my childhood kitty, who came to a tragic end. I also recalled my dog, Laddy, who’d been given away to another family.

Perhaps being offended was saving me from being vulnerable and getting attached?
It’s too late – I’m already smitten.

Now, my kitten trains me. In very short order, my reactions to her became a game: when I found Baby’s feline ways offensive, I realized I must already be disturbed.

Now I have a sense of humor for her moods and mine. Each day is a delight and we have become the best of friends.

For more about how resentments and feeling offended can dissolve with awareness, listen to this episode of our Being Here podcast: Got Grudges?

See all posts in The Kitten Chronicles series here.

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Sweet! Glad y’all found each other! I have two cats, and have certainly sometimes offended myself when they pay more attention to each other than to me! ?

Simply adorable. I love how cats train their owners – I think we are their pets. I used to get offended when my cat, Luna, would behave in the exact same manner, yet I also came to love her independent nature and playfulness – it became a game in the end.