This is Milo. We adopted this little guy nearly 7 years ago from the ARL in Boston. He’s got big floppy ears and a squeaky meow. He gets up on his hind legs like a meerkat and he comes when he’s called (usually at what can only be described as a happy-trot). He’s the sweetest, most precious thing you will ever meet.
He’s also a complete and total moron.
He’s not a cat so much as he’s fat chihuahua with identity issues. Close a door so that it’s slightly too small for him to get through, and he’ll just push his face against the edge until the door inevitably closes on him. Point out a scuttling bug and he’s scuttle off in the opposite direction. He is an actual scaredy cat.
And he’s about as graceful as a bag of sand.
The poor thing just does not know How to Cat. He doesn’t land on the ground so much as he belly flops. And he cannot jump to save his little self.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
Milo loves the area on top of our kitchen cabinets. He’ll snuggle into one corner and watch the world like Mufasa on Pride Rock. The problem, however, is that the cat cannot jump onto the counter, which is needed in order to jump on top of the fridge, and eventually to the top of our cabinets.
Instead of jumping on the counter like a proper cat, Milo will sit by the edge of the counter and meow pitifully. Somewhere along the way, we learned that we could put one of our kitchen bar stools by the side of the counter and he would use it as a bit of a step stool. That is, except for when he belly flops against the edge of the stool. Then he’ll refuse to jump on even the bar stool for days after that, opting instead to paw at the seat and attempt a few false starts.
If no one helps him, he will just meow at the counter as if he’s trapped in a well, eventually giving up and walking away with what can only be described as the opposite of a happy trot. We’ll put treats on the counter to tempt him into actually jumping up on his own. The treats will go untouched and Milo will just look at us like we’ve committed the ultimate betrayal.
But here’s the part that I don’t get: Milo will jump from the counter to the top of the fridge without any hesitation. Our counter is essentially at the halfway mark for the fridge, meaning that the floor is equidistant to the counter as the counter is to the top of the fridge. It’s almost the exact same jump. Only one of them he can jump with ease; the other one fills his fat chihuahua mind with so much doubt and dread that he’ll refuse to even attempt it without a step stool.
If this is not a reminder that our limits are usually arbitrary and unnecessary ones that we’ve put upon ourselves, I don’t know what is.