Confession: I err on the side of the positive. Perhaps pathologically positive.
I will find a way to say something good about vegan cheese, and Cats, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
I will believe there are honest, honorable politicians.
I will write, with all my heart, that “Scarywinkle” no longer deserves her nickname.
As it turns out, I’ve jumped the gun. Periwinkle is still pathologically murderous when it comes to our species. (Vegan cheese, on the other hand, has come a long way in the last few years.)
I know, I know. It’s hard to reconcile that statement with these photos. How can the dearest little Dorito of a kitten, the tenderest little tangerine, the most precious little orinch puff, be that bad?
You can trust me, because I’ve made the mistake — repeatedly — of trusting Periwinkle. I have trusted in her transformation long before it’s happened; I have hurried her healing from an anger she still thinks is AOK; I have extended my hand, asking her to extend her friendship across deep blue waters when she’s perfectly content being Periwinkle.
I’m not alone in this. When we first heard about Periwinkle, we were under the misty blue impression that she was a little bit younger, a little closer to that critical eight-week mark when kittens go from “tameable” to “I WILL FRIGGIN’ END YOU ALL, YIPPI-KI-YI-YAY!” We thought we could “gentle” her. We thought we could flame her timid spark into full friendly fireworks. We thought she just needed a little patience, and guidance.
Periwinkle thought we were an overripe bunch of fools.
It’s not that Periwinkle is feral, exactly. She can and will warm herself in your arms if you swaddle her, and she’s not an ounce of anxious to snooze right next to you. She does not think that we will beat or eat her, or force her to eat vegan cheese or listen to 70s prog rock.
She just finds us rather…irritating.
Humans are the expensive but itchy sweater around Periwinkle’s neck, or the tune the janitor keeps whistling up and down the hallway. We are the persistent pop-up ad hawking protein powder, the “check engine” light on her dashboard. The second the swaddling is over, it’s back to belligerence and biting. She doesn’t quite hate us; she realizes we have a purpose; she’s just cranky about the whole matter.
She’s not, however, cranky about her crankiness. She thinks she’s just fine, exactly as she is.
And fortunately for Scarywinkle, so do we.
So, little orinch puff, if you’re committed to huffing and puffing and popping at us with hisses and spits and wolverine claws for life, it’s OK. We love you, like it or not. We will continue to attempt to love you in the ways we’d love to love you, even as we’ll accept you for who you are and keep our love-tortures to a tolerable volume.
You are our favorite shade of blue.
You are right where you belong.
And all of us feel very, very positively towards you.