Monday, June 8, 2009

My Little Kitty

LilBro is deep in the imaginative stage of age three. When BigBro was three, he insisted on being called "Sportacus" by everyone, at every opportunity. When Princess was three, she required us to include her imaginary friend, Leelee, in every family meal, outing and activity.

LilBro is a kitty. He crawls on all fours, meows, and curls up on our laps just like our two actual cats do. It's cute and sweet... most of the time. There are times when he uses this phase as an attempt to escape chores or meals he doesn't like. But, his folks are wiser than he is... and that little ploy doesn't actually work.

Yesterday morning, we had a visiting priest for 10:30 mass. He is a theologian, who teaches at the local seminary. While he celebrated mass faithfully, his homily was way too deep and involved for our ordinary little parish. He went on and on... for nearly 20 minutes... in a deep, theological explanation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. He quoted theologians. He spoke about mysteries of the faith. LilBro squirmed. He climbed over me again and again. I couldn't follow the homily to begin with, and my squirmy lap-mate didn't help my understanding.

Finally, the homily was over and mass continued. LilBro settled down a bit, into the reliable routine of the Liturgy. Again, however, this priest was different. His pacing was much slower, more methodical, than we are used to. By the time we reached the Sign of Peace, LilBro was done... mass had gone an hour already, and he was ready to escape. I whispered some encouragement into his ears, hoping to forestall the inevitable. We got through communion. When we stood for the final prayers, I picked LilBro up, whispered again that we were almost done, and he'd done a great job. He meowed.

I knew then that I'd lost him, and that the best I could hope for was to keep the meowing to a minimum.

When we got out to the car, I asked DH if he'd heard the meows at his end of the pew. Unfortunately, yes, he had. Which means that, likely, so did the priest. (We always sit in the front of the church). I suppose it's the first time he's been meowed at during mass.

This morning, LilBro curled up on my lap again, meowing and allowing me to pet his hair. He had a look of peace, of deep contentment on his face. Three really is a pretty neat age. I admire the honesty of it. When he is happy, you know it. When he is angry, you know it. When he is tired, you know it. And when he is bored out of his mind, you know it.

Lord knows there are times and places where I would just love to meow, when I would love to escape reality and let my imaginary persona express my boredom, my annoyance, my frustration. Alas, life as a reasonably sane adult in 21st century America doesn't allow for such things. I guess I'll have to settle for letting my three-year-old do the meowing for me.

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