The kitten is up the tree

And it kept going - a riff on urgency

The kitten is up tree 

Today the kitten found herself in a bit of a predicament. She ran from the house through an open door. Outside, she was overwhelmed by the options afforded to her. To a small furry kitten, the great outdoors is a bit much.  She bolted this way. She darted that way.

Then? 

Then she saw our willow tree. 

Up she went about. She climbed just over six feet to a crook, an elbow in the tree.  She saw she could go higher. She continued, 10 feet to a delightful perch there. Moments later? Her tail puffed up. She was confused. She made a mistake and looked down,

MEROOLLLLLLL

She yeowled her dissatisfaction with her predicament. Not wanting to fling herself into our waiting hands, afraid to jump. She continued still higher. 

Up up up she went,

Finally she was well up the tree. At first, she was driven by an opening. She found an opportunity.

Having followed that opportunity quite a ways up, the branches became weak. The firmament felt less firm - flimsy even. The branches thinned out. The wind blew. She moved and did not want to move.

Onward and upward she went, propelled by a different force. Fear. 

Finally she stopped and looked back. 

The family called out sweetly.

Some shook bags of treats.

Others hit their face, terrified of a cat named splat.

In order to get down, she then eventually fell from one chunk to another and then to yet another.

Her claws were frantically scratching for something to hold onto.  Her already sizable tail was huge. She swung it desperately. As magnificent as it was, it did little to slow the inevitable pull of gravity. 

Bounce.

Scratch.

Meowl

Down she went. 

Bump 

Bump

Bump. 

It was an ingenious, interesting situation she found herself in. 

I’ve been there too.

Way out of my element.

Up a tree, out on a limb and frozen.

I’ve found myself here frequently. 

And instead of looking around and getting support from those there to help, I have driven myself further, deeper into trouble.

It typically starts by following something stupid with more impulsive stupidity. 

Never content to put my foot in my mouth, I’ll swallow my leg up past my knee.

I’ve gone up trees of embarrassment and instead of honestly assessing where I was, I’ve frozen first then manically climbed higher, into more trouble.

The kitten escaped, probably about eight lives left.

Me?

I'm not certain how many I have left. 

And?

I’ve learned from these treetop follies.

When things feel urgent, do nothing. 

Wait.

Assess the situation more.

Otherwise, you could end up like a kitten 35 or 40 feet up a tree, not knowing how the hell you're going to get out of it. This could happen anywhere. It could happen by telling a lie.

This happens with over-promising and under-delivering

This can even happen when you tell the truth too clearly or too cleanly for somebody who wasn't able to handle it.

The question that remains is this: How do you know if you're actually climbing in a direction that you want to go, or if you're a kitten up a tree?