Life

From Pups to Panthers: Understanding Teenagers Through the Feline Lens

Recently, an acquaintance forwarded an online missive to me. The discourse was entitled “The Epoch of Felines.” Regrettably, the identity of the author remained undisclosed, yet it adeptly encapsulated the attributes of the interim phase of youth. The narrator expressed:

I discerned that progeny embody the qualities of canines, faithful and tender, whereas adolescents epitomize feline traits.

Nurturing a canine is straightforward. One administers sustenance, imparts training, issues directives, and it, in turn, cradles its head in one’s lap, regarding them as if they were a masterpiece. When summoned, it bounds around the domicile with fervor.

However, upon reaching the age of thirteen, one’s exuberant and winsome pup metamorphoses into an inscrutable, ungovernable feline. When beckoned indoors, it displays an expression of astonishment, as though challenging one’s authority. It ceases to trail one’s footsteps and frequently vanishes. Its presence is usually only felt when it hungers. Regardless of the fare proffered, it turns up its nose disdainfully. When one extends a tender caress as before, it averts its gaze, as if reminiscing about their shared past.

The dog has now transitioned into a cat, though this realization has yet to dawn. One perceives only a sense of discord. It appears recalcitrant, aloof, and somewhat despondent. It eschews familial excursions. Having nurtured this pup and instilled obedience, one is fraught with guilt and trepidation, thus redoubling efforts to assert dominance.

Only now does one confront the reality of dealing with a feline, where erstwhile methods prove futile. Summon it, and it flees. Bid it to sit, and it clambers atop furniture. The more one approaches, the more it withdraws.

One must adopt the demeanor of a feline guardian rather than persisting in the role of a canine caretaker. Position sustenance near the threshold, allowing it to venture forth of its own volition. However, one must not forget that the feline craves affection and support. Remain stationary, and it will seek solace in one’s lap, harboring vestiges of their erstwhile bond. Maintain presence and extend an invitation, for it has not entirely forsaken its former rapport.

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