But she is the happiest kitten I know. We suspect there might have been a shortage of oxygen for her at birth. We have thought maybe she is deaf or hard of hearing or blind or all of the above. But, regardless, she is precious. And she is ecstatic to be alive.
Trajectory is a thing that happens for other cats.
Callie watches them, her siblings and her parents, jump up onto the couch or the little cat-climber we have rigged up for them to look out the window in the living room.
She watches them jump, forward and onto things and she jumps, straight up and right back down in one spot. And then she falls over.
We built little stairs out of different sized boxes for her to climb up the cat-climber and look out the window.
The first time a bird flew by, she fell over. She continued to lay there, looking out the window. I was relieved she did not fall off but I am learning not to help unless absolutely necessary (with animals and with humans).
We put a footstool on the floor between her bowl and her brother’s bowl because she refuses to eat unless she is under it. We don’t ask why anymore.
Once, when she realized the footstool was like another step she could climb up onto, she was so happy about sitting on top of it, she ate from up there. Her bowl was on the floor. She looked like a duck. Her butt was up in the air and her head was in her bowl and she ate like that until she fell over.
Then she went under her footstool to finish her breakfast as if nothing happened.
The other cats run and jump into the bathtub. They like water. Callie watches them do things and thinks, “This is a thing that I should do,”
For a full week she would run at the bathtub without jumping at all. She’d run right into the side of the tub, and fall over.
Then she learned how to stand up like a meerkat and peek into the tub.
That’s when I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to help.
I picked her up to put her into the tub with her siblings and she did this thing- her front half spun one direction, her rear half spun the opposite direction. Just when I thought sure she’d come unscrewed, I put her down, her little toe pads felt the cool of the tub, she stopped spinning, and fell over.
I watched and waited because, no way was this confused, happy thing getting out of the tub by herself.
But, I was wrong.
She lay there for awhile, watching her siblings. Then she got up, drank some water, and learned trajectory. Sort of. Sometimes. Basically, only in reference to the bathtub.
Ever since Callie experienced tubby time, she is constantly in and out of it. In the tub, out of the tub. In the tub, out of the tub.
She plays until she is tired. Then she climbs her little stairs and sleeps. Not in the window but directly in front of the television. She thinks the TV is a window her people watch birds out of, so she gets low and small so she doesn’t block our view.
Because, although Callie is clumsy and slightly crooked, she is a conscientious girl. And maybe there’s nothing wrong with her at all.