Tinsel came to live with us us some five years ago. Just short of one year old, she was a gift to our daughter from Santa. We don't know anything about what Tinsel had experienced at the North Pole or elsewhere prior to her arrival at our house. As a result, she has always seemed a bit mysterious to me. There is a part of her that we will never know, unless she decides to share her history with us.
Consequently, it's always interesting to see how she responds to different kinds of situations and what they might reveal about her past experiences or personality. We have noticed that Tinsel loves to go outside in the yard, which we will allow if she is on her harness and leash. She rolls in the grass and purrs contentedly, as if she's familiar with being outside. This is perplexing to me, since she came to us as a front-declawed kitty. One would think that a declawed kitty would not have spent significant time outdoors.
One day last week, I decided to take her outside without her leash and see how she responded to being placed near one of our pine trees. Immediately, she jumped onto a low branch and began walking the limbs. Because she has no front claws, she couldn't climb any higher, but she managed to walk on several limbs with ease and confidence, purring loudly (and Tinsel NEVER purrs loudly) all the while. Seeing Tinsel in this setting made her look like an altogether different sort of cat than the usually grouchy feline who sleeps all day inside our house.
So what can we conclude by seeing Tinsel in this setting? I think it speaks to the fact that we all have aspects to our personalities -- skills, talents, and abilities -- that can remain hidden or dormant until presented with the right set of circumstances. We may not even recognize them, or know they exist, until we take a risk and go out on a limb.