Perhaps it’s because the palette of my home is fairly earthy and muted–browns, grays, greens, mauves, creams–that Little Bepps is so good at hiding with very little effort. After all, the stripes and other markings on a cat evolved so that they could disguise themselves while hunting, right? Every once in a while, Beppsimus feels it necessary to practice these hunting-related skills: after all, just because he is now domesticated doesn’t mean the wild hunter inside him is asleep. Just because he has someone (okay, okay–it’s his mom) feeding him his “kill” from a can (a mere technicality, really), he knows better than to let such a cushy lifestyle weaken his savage impulses or dull his animal instincts. Case in point: can you find Beppsimus Minimus in the following picture? If not, you might as well consider yourself as vulnerable as this morning’s can of Turkey and Cheese Friskies that is now empty and in the recycling.
Look more closely, doomed prey! Never fear, though: apparently, he has lost interest in this one-sided game of fēlēs incognita. Though modest in nature, Beppsimus cannot help his boredom when met with an unworthy opponent. Failure is necessary to develop one’s skills and character. Perhaps a more worthy opponent will rouse him from his ennui.
You know I cannot see you,
though I don’t need to see.
For I have other senses
that I use happily.
I sniff just like a bloodhound,
I listen like a bat,
I use my whiskers to find things
just like all other cats.
But I am great–I’m Beppsimus!–
–the Noble (though the Small),
and I can track you, sparkly prey,
though I’ve no sight at all.
Confucius–one of Beppsimus’ favorite philosophers–advises us as to the acquisition, or development, of knowledge. He delineates three paths to wisdom.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest…
“Second, by imitation, which is easiest…
“And third, by experience, which is bitterest.”
Bepps was adopted in January of 2011. He was young, blind, and seemed to stick to himself when I first met him at the shelter. He warmed my heart not only with his huge, marble-like eyes, but also with his hoarding habit: I noticed that he would take a toy (once he managed to find one) and carry it over to the corner of the room behind one of several litter boxes, where he would carefully play with it. Sighted cats could have easily taken his toys away if he were to play with them out in the open, so he adapted. Now, two years later, I have seen him adapt to many of his life’s circumstances and surroundings. Case in point: frequently lying down in doorways, so as to be aware of where he is, and to listen to the sounds from adjoining rooms.