It’s in the jokes-in-your-head that no one else hears. (“This new loofah just might be the LOOF OF MY LIFE!”)
It’s in the perfect hair days seen only by the Amazon delivery man. (“Lookin’ spiffy, Ma’am.”)
But is happiness unshared ergo unreal?
Let’s get real, kittens. You and me, we want to be seen. I’m speaking as a hardcore introvert who generally operates in the belief that I’m a behind-the-scenes girl, but in my most honest moments I know the truth.
There’s a reason I write these ridiculous words and come up with asinine jokes.
There’s a reason I wear butterflies in my hair when I go to the supermarket.
There’s a reason I reach across the great divide to other humans, awaiting some response from eyes and words that can wound or build.
I want you to see me.
And, being made of the same stuff as I am (apologies, but it’s at least organically true), you want to be seen, too.
It would be easy to blame our hunger to be seen on social media, and surely that’s made it worse. It’s a short hop from “golly, I can have an audience!” to “I MUST PRODUCE CONTENT FOR MY AUDIENCE!” Next thing you know, you’re painfully aware of exactly how many eyes see — or worse, like — you on any given day.
Cats, being cats, see everything and care about very little. But they are not so far above us that they transcend the desire to be beheld.
Like you and me and the Amazon man, cats were created to connect. “Connect,” of course, means as many things as “love,” each one custom-sculpted for the connector in question. The Trembling Troika of Candy (pictured in top banner), Toffee and Cherry (pictured in top thumbnail) certainly do not wish for you to gaze upon them with unbroken stare and run your fingers through their unusually-beautiful fur. In fact, they (as demonstrated by pioneer Cherry) will literally launch directly upward into the literal ceiling to avoid your touch and your sight.
But even such PhD-level hiders as these ladies want to be known.
Seen for the fearful touch-me-not blossoms they are…and then accepted (which, in their case, means essentially unseen from that point forward: “now that you’ve seen us, stop looking”).
To be seen — not just glimpsed, far more than just admired or, God forbid, ogled — is to be held, taken for what you are. How the seer proceeds will show just how well she’s seen, how far she’s looked, how well she’s been able to behold rather than assume.
But sometimes, there’s no one around to see. Sometimes, our selves are shouting or singing or gleaming iridescently with something so profound and wonderful that we can only experience it all alone. It’s in these moments — funny or transcendent, physical or otherworldly — that we might most long for other eyes.
You shiver with a revelation, a moment of actual epiphany.
Archer eats enough that, in this holy moment, he truly feels full and filled.
You peep yourself in the mirror and, for that instant, you’re smacked with love for the weary, stardusted creature you are.
Divya dares to descend the reception desk, and she finds a shocking comfort in the nearness of other cats.
These are moments that may never be known to another soul.
It may have to be enough to carry them close to our chests, ponder them in our own hearts, speak of them to no one.
And yet, and yet, and yet, they — we — are never less unseen.
May we trust that there’s a grand enough Seer to hold and capture and ratify our most mysterious moments, kittens. What’s unknown to our assorted “audiences” just might be the most real, most precious, most permanent evidence that we were here.
None of your great living moments — or mine, or Divya’s, or Candy’s — are lost.
They are captured, cherished, collected in annals that will never crumble.
So let’s live knowing that we are always, eternally, benevolently seen.
Beloved in our hiddenness.
Even if we hide in the ceiling.