Max Tangled

Max Tangled

Last week I stood in our kitchen and heard the washing machine banging. As I sipped my coffee, I observed the responsible thing to do would be to trudge upstairs, interrupt the cycle, and re-balance the clothes. 

Then I realized that I hadn’t started a load of laundry. 

What could possibly be making all that noise?!

I found the laundry room door shut tight at the top of the stairs with Sybil pacing nervously. An inexplicable metallic banging came from the other side of the door. I yanked open the door.  Max was in the middle of a tangled laundry basket AND step stool. At first glance I thought he might have broken his rear leg. I fell to his side and tried to comfort, while I examined the tangle he had created. 

Max and Sybil love to play in boxes, bins, and bags. No matter how expensive a toy might be, they would rather play with discarded and forgotten containers. And some not forgotten and discarded containers. The laundry basket in question on this particular day is a mesh pop up toy of wonder for our kittens. Max had gotten his foot tangled into the handle – it was wrapped around tightly at least five times. THEN through his panic, he forced himself between the steps of an open step stool. So now the basket was tangled in the step stool and the cat was tangled in the basket. He was NOT happy or comfortable. 

I can learn something from Max’s fiasco. It seems so much easier to go with the spin and the panic when something doesn’t go my way. I don’t realize I am tangled up until I am banging the step stool against the washing machine in desperate pain trying to get disentangled. 

My next sentence could be “If only Max had stopped and taken a breath” – but Max, being a seven month old kitten only stops when he hears a can of food being opened. 

What are the early warning signs that you are getting tangled up? When and where do you feel pressure that something isn’t fitting quite right? I get ‘snippy’. I forget to stay hydrated. I disengage. I struggle to hear or listen.

What helps you to get release from being tangled up? I read. I nap. I sit in the sun or walk in the trees. I drink water. I create and play. 

When I was able to get close enough to help Max, I had to decide which needed to be untangled first – the cat from the basket or the basket from the step stool. I chorused reassurances while I untangled and comforted him. Free from his dual enemies, Max’s leg was fine and I haven’t seen him show any interest in the laundry room since. 


With kittens, we are (re)learning that trouble comes with a lot of noise… or a lack of noise.

How can we build the same attentiveness in our own lives? 

Stay untangled this week!