Make no mistake, I think kittens are about the cutest little things in the world. I’ve always admired them from afar, because getting too close results in sneezing and eyes full of tears. Yes, I’m sadly allergic to cats so I’ve never had the joy of raising one. My only other known allergy is to mangoes, which feels less troubling. Having a single fruit you can’t eat somehow pales in comparison to not being able to cuddle a cute little kitty when you happen upon one. It doesn’t always stop me, of course, as the urge to pet them is simply too great. And as long as I can limit my exposure, I can get a glimpse of what owning a cat might be like. It’s lovely! I love the strong personality that seems to say, “Yes, I could totally live without you, but please don’t let that in any way undermine the love we share together.” In truth, it’s likely why I ended up with a dog in the form of a basenji, with roughly the same personality. A bit of dramatic emotional distance, but never wanting to be truly ignored and always up for cuddles, even if incapable of admitting it at times. It just makes me smile to see such independence in a creature that is indeed, in the end, fully relying on us to live properly.

This personality reminds me of my youth, when I grew just a bit too old to be best friends with my mother anymore. I still loved her in exactly the same way, just as I do today, but I was a “big kid” back then and needed to push the limits of my independence. Bless her heart for enduring those years, and perhaps most of the years after. It’s definitely part of life, but I wish I’d known back then what I know today. That each wonderful family member in our lives is really the most important thing in the world. No amount of new friends, new dreams, or indeed grand schemes can ever change that. There’s a something else there, a connection, that sometimes can’t be described in words. I’ve forged a life that is often completely foreign to my extended family, but each time we meet, we know, we always share something in common. No matter how different you are, there’s always something there that makes you the same. A wonderfully invisible something that you can’t always see, but simply feel. That’s one of the best connections of all.

And I think with pets, when we happily make them our family, the feeling manifests in a similar way. We notice traits that mimic ours. Little signals that show we’re somehow related. Certainly not in scientific terms, as that would be perfectly weird, but in emotional terms. In those tiny moments that make our hearts smile with a joy that proves life is indeed worth living. Children are the peak of this feeling, of course. In both scientific and emotional terms, a strange replica of who we are and who we were. I’ve never had a child either. I’ve just been one, who grew into an adult before he even knew what was happening. And yet, I can still watch my nieces and nephews grow through the same beats in life. Those wonderful learning experiences that make us the person we will ultimately become. And I hope that I have a bit of wisdom to pass along the way. But, never too much as to block the beautiful failures that make us much better people. I would love to have a chance to nurture those early formative years. To make a positive difference. Perhaps that’s why I get a bit teary-eyed in a completely different way when I think about what life would have been like, if I could have a kitten.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 Day 26 - Day 26 - If I Could Have A Kitten - Doodlewash


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31 thoughts on “If I Could Have A Kitten

  1. Ooh, I love your kitten! This is probably the only time I’ve felt sorry for you, because I know you have such an upbeat attitude and philosophy that you take the bad times in stride – but anyone who loves a Basenji would love a cat and I know you’ve missed something that would make your life that little bit richer and you would have made the most of the experience.

  2. Gee Charlie….your posts are like little novels, or life lessons – I almost forgot you drew a kitten that looked so adorable I had to read the post 😋. I can go from one post to next and on and on until my husband protests the extra light in the otherwise dark room coming from the iPad 😇 Great sketch btw, and totally agree with you point – my daughter is so much like me it drives me insane sometimes. And the cat, yep, social, but on her own terms. Always!

  3. You never cease to amaze me, Charlie, with your sketch of the truly adorable kitten and your sharing of your associated memories and emotions. I can see that you would be a very nurturing dad to a kitten or a child, as you are to your other loved ones like Phineas, Philippe and your nieces and nephews!

  4. I love your story and your little cat illustration, Charlie! I understand well your wish for a cat and deeply appreciate your love for them despite your health problems caused by cat hair. I had at home a gorgeous white Persian male cat, which puts me in a position of losing some friends because of their histamine reactions leading to cat fear or dislike. We should simply accept our human limits (caused by various factors) and find creative ways to substitute them. For example, I’m suffering fructose intolerance, thus enjoying painting fruits and sugar bombs! Through painting, I can feel that I’m feeding my brain with sugar, fructose, sorbit & co. Oh my, I like it 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Violeta! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s a bummer when we can’t have things we want, but there are always ways around it. I agree on the sweets… I don’t have an intolerance other than a lack of appropriate metabolism… hehe… but that’s why I have so many of my fantasy dessert paintings. 😊

  5. If we knew then (whenever “then” was) what we know now, we might not have survived. We are meant to be rebellious as teenagers so we can make that break from our birth families and become adults. But to be wistful as we look back is to be appreciative.

    This little gray kitten is adorable and will not make you – or me- sneeze. Now Phineas may disagree.

  6. I used to have cats and kittens and I do love them, but then I developed a serious allergy to them, so no more feline family members……..sigh. I do miss that soft, warm purring on my lap, the comfort that stroking a cat can bring(to us both) and the connection and affection. Your kitten painting is beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Susan! 😃💕 Aww… you have had them and then not be able to? I’m so sorry! I’ve never had the opportunity… I think I would have to sneeze my way into oblivion if I had. 😊 Wouldn’t be able to give them up!

      1. It was difficult, but I had to………I don’t get the usual sneezing and runny nose, eyes, as my allergy causes swelling of my sinuses, so I can’t breathe properly……, no choice, really.

  7. Great drawing!
    Such an endearing look on the little kitten’s face.
    My daughter had a little striped cat that looked a lot like your drawing.
    She brought a girlfriend home one day to do homework with her, but the young girl had to leave after 10 minutes because she was very allergic to my daughter’s cat. Allergies can be so miserable!

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