Kitty’s Cosmos: Wabi-sabi

Kitty’s Cosmos: Wabi-sabi

Back in the 1970s, there were toys called Weebles. The tag line, “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down,” gets into my head each and every time I meet a cat with CH (cerebellar hypoplasia).

There are many ways to make things easier for these cats who are balancefully challenged. However, the wobbles that come with CH make every CH cat a little extra.

Extra adorable.
Extra floppy.
Extra in need of a helping hand, or steps, or soft bumpers.
Extra likely to have the nickname Wobbles (100% of CH cats have Wobbles as one of their many extra names).

All of these things apply to Kiko, whose nicknames include Ba-Boom! (He’s explosively cute!), is a recent addition to the Tabby’s Place Community Room. With a charmingly wonky set of chompers and a zest for EVERY SINGLE THING (Yes, Kiko shouts about IT ALL!), this friendly, affectionate, purr-ful (to the bajillionth degree!!) feline is proving how perfect he is in all the imperfect ways that somehow allows us the grace to embrace our own imperfections while delighting in Kiko precisely because of his.

With the fervor of youth and the wisdom of catdom, Kiko is a living (SO VERY!) embodiment of the concept of wabi-sabi. When we get to know cats like Kiko and the rest of the residents of Tabby’s Place, we are reminded of the adorability, the sweetness, and the love that go hand-in-hand with imperfection.

As he tumbles into his food, Kiko reminds us that life is messy. As he gazes up at us, he reminds us that life is beautiful even at its very most messiest. As he falls into his blankets, each and every time he falls into his blankets, we fall hopelessly in love with him again and again.

Kiko may wobble. Kiko even falls down. He most certainly proclaims his feelings loudly, but he won’t ever pretend that he is anything other than what he is. Kiko also won’t expect us to be anything other than who we are. His wobbles highlight Kiko’s CH, but they are only one small part of the whole Kiko. Just as our wobbles are only a small part of who we are.

Like Kiko, we should never hide after we fall. We should never worry about the messes we make. What we should do is learn to embrace our imperfections and, each time we pick ourselves up, just try to be better than we were before we fell.

Just as a wabi-sabi repair often leaves an item stronger and more beautiful after it is fixed, we are stronger and  more beautiful once we pick ourselves up. As with intentionally accentuated cracks and chips in a vase, a person who has wobbled or cracked or fallen or broken is far more interesting than someone who has never teetered. No cat, especially Kiko, needs help in this regard. But we humans are much improved as we gain the grey hairs and wrinkles that come with these experiences – the falls we get up from, the messes we clean up.

Understanding ourselves and our world with the perspective of wabi-sabi enables us to more fully appreciate the astonishing beauty that surrounds us. It enables us to move past criticism to instead focus on critical acts of loving kindness. When we allow ourselves room to have our own faults, we create space for others to be unapologetically, flaw-fully, marvelously themselves.

No person we know will ever rise to Kiko’s zestfully, mess-fully phenomenal level of wibbly-wobbly-wabi-sabi imperfect perfection. We aren’t cats. But, Kiko is. And, he’ll show us how it’s done every delightfully, exquisitely imperfect day.

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