While snapping this photo, I was full of fear for the kittens. This was their first time outside and they were only nine months old. So when I saw them go straight for this tree and run up it, I panicked and yelled, “Molly, Max, get down from there!”
Immediately, I thought of how I don’t want to be a yeller. I had been a yeller, I was a young yeller, and that’s where I draw the line – I’m not going to be an old yeller, not if I can help it! So I said, as calmly and lovingly as I could, “I mean, come here, Molly 🙂 come here, Max :), I don’t want you to get hurt, up in the tree…”
Hearing my brother laugh in the background prompted me to correct myself. “I mean, it’s not in the tree I am worried about, but more like you falling out of the tree and on to the other side of the fence, where those dogs are just waiting to rip you to shreds.”
“Oh… yeah,” I heard my brother say, “come on, Max,” he beckoned, after the kitten once again disobeyed my orders.
Their next time out, however, was a bit different. Proving to us the day before that they are fully aware of the dogs next door, they ran up the tree, then looked at me. “Okay,” I said, “I shall focus on love. I love you little kitties, and therefore, I want you to have a fun time playing outside, and since we’ve taught you all we know how, it’s time for you to learn on your own now. Just like a surgeon – if he never gets to perform surgery, how good a surgeon could he be? I also suppose the sooner the surgeon operates after completing school, the better it will be for everyone. So go, little kitties, and have some fun!”