Kittens are cute, soft, and playful. Our story is about a grey stripped kitten named, Yumi. Yumi is one of nine kittens in a litter. She wasn’t the youngest or the oldest. She was number five, smack in the middle of four older and four younger kittens.
One day, Tigerlilly, her sister followed her through the fence. Just as Yumi stretched out in the sun, Tigerlilly plopped down next to her.“What are you doing here?” asked Yumi.
“I followed you. I wondered where you disappeared to each morning and afternoon.” answered Tigerlilly.“This is my spot and you can’t be here. Now go find your own spot to take a nap.”
“Why can’t I stay here? There is plenty of room and we could curl up together like we do when we sleep at night.” said Tigerlilly.
Yumi reached out and hit her as she said, “Go away!”Tigerlilly ran off and squeezed through the fence. Yumi watched her go. She waited a few moments, then curled into a ball to take her nap.
Later, the kittens were chasing each other in the barn. They were having a fantastic time tagging and running. One of the older brother kittens, Zale, jumped off a short wall into Yumi’s path causing her to skid sideways into a mound of hay.“HaHa! I frightened you!” laughed Zale.
“That wasn’t funny!” said Yumi.Some of the other kittens witnessed it and ran up as Yumi got up and walked over to Zale. She smacked him on the head. He hit her back. Soon, they were rolling in a ball of fur, hissing and biting.
“You two stop that!” said their mom.They stopped fighting and sat there glaring at each other and panting.
“What has gotten into you two?” their mom asked.Zale said, “I jumped down from the wall and scared Yumi. Then she hit me.”
“You hit me too!” yelled Yumi.“Both of you stop. Yumi, go sit over there by yourself and Zale, you sit over there. You both can’t participate in the fun. All you may do is watch. I’ll talk to you in a while.”
Zale and Yumi obeyed their mom. They watched their sibling frolicking around the barn wishing they could play too. After a while their mom called them over.“Zale and Yumi, hitting and fighting is no way to act toward your sibling. We're family and we need to be kind to each other. Zale, I believe you were just having fun when you jumped into the chasing game. Yumi, why did you hit him?”
“He scared me and laughed at me.”“Don’t let your feelings get hurt so easily. Everyone was having fun. You should laugh back, not hit him. Zale, you shouldn’t have hit her back. You should’ve walked away. Now, be nice to each other.”
“Yes, ma’am.” They said in unison. Zale smiled at Yumi who slowly smiled back.“I love to watch my kittens hugging each other. Look over there; see how Peanut and Autumn are acting? You would do well hugging instead of fighting.”
A few days later, Fancy, one of the kittens, found a bug and was playing with it. Yumi decided to play with the bug too. She tried to take it.Fancy was quick to snag the bug. “Yumi, that’s my bug. I caught it. You go find your own one to play with.”
“I want to play with that one.”“No! Go away. It’s mine!”
Yumi hit Fancy making her drop the bug.“Look what you did!” she said as she leaped at the bug trapping it under her paw. Yumi swiped at her again. “That hurt! Stop hitting me!”
Yumi hit her again. This time, Fancy hit her back while keeping the bug pinned down. Tigerlilly and Zale witnessed the whole thing.“Yumi, stop hitting Fancy and leave her with her bug.” said Zale.
Yumi looked at Zale and Tigerlilly, then to Fancy. “Alright, she can have her ugly bug.” Yumi ran away.Zale followed her outside. Yumi sat on a tree stump twitching her tail. He saw she was still upset and decided to talk to her. He jumped up on the other tree stump.
“Yumi, why do you try to solve your problems by hitting your brothers and sisters? We don’t want to fight you.”“Leave me alone!”
“I just want to be your friend. I thought we could talk.”“I don’t want to talk to you!” Yumi said as she jumped at Zale scratching and clawing him.
They fell off the tree stump and rolled down the hill in a furry ball. Yumi had her claws dug into him biting and scratching with her back feet. They rolled and landed with a splash in the pond.A terrible screech came from both of them. Yumi let go and both scrambled out of the water.
Their mom ran over to them. “What on earth happened?”
“Yumi jumped on me and we rolled into the water.” said Zale.“Is that what really happened?” Mom asked Yumi.
Yumi had calmed down by this point and said, “I was mad and attacked him.”“Yumi, getting mad and hitting your siblings is becoming a habit. I don’t want you to grow up being a bully. You can’t solve your problems by hitting and fighting. That’s no way to act. Now, tell me what’s really wrong.”
“Yumi studied her mom for a moment and said, “Zale and the older kittens play together and the younger kittens play together. I seem to be left out. They have all the fun.”
“Yumi, Tigerlilly said she tried to spend time with you the other day and you wouldn’t let her. You hit her. When Zale jumped playfully at you, you hit him. I think the problem is, you’re just thinking about yourself. You want to play when it is fun and no one jumps at you or laughs. You want to play with something a kitten is having fun with. You don’t want to share. You are only thinking about yourself. How would you like it if we stayed away from you and you were all alone all the time?”"I wouldn’t.”
“I didn’t think so. You need to start thinking about the other kittens instead of yourself. Zale has sores on him from you. You need to be nice to your siblings. Stop hitting. Hitting leads to fights. Look what happened this time. Do you like falling in the pond?”“No.”
“Alright, I want you to think about it. Go to the loft and stay there. Tonight you’ll sleep by yourself.”Mom took Zale and cleaned his wounds which upon inspection were slight. Zale liked the attention. Mom and eight kittens slept curled up together.
Yumi went to the loft and stayed there by herself all night. She felt cold without the others to keep her warm. Loneliness crowded in. She didn’t like it. Her thoughts went to the times she had been mean and hit her brothers and sisters. There were many occurrences and she realized she had tried to solve her problems by hitting, like Zale said. She should be grateful for a big brother like Zale. She remembered what her mom said about growing up mean and fighting. The picture of that made her shiver.
The next morning, Yumi’s mom woke her. “How are you this morning? Did you sleep well?”“No. Mom, I’m sorry for the way I’ve been acting. I promise not to hit anymore.”
“Yumi, hitting is not the way to solve your problems. I know you will try to stop but hitting may have become a habit. If you forget and hit one of your siblings—tell them you’re sorry. Try not to hit next time. That’s all you need to do. Soon, you will change your habit.” Mom gave Yumi a big hug.They went down for breakfast and Yumi told the kittens, “I’m sorry everyone for hitting you. Zale, I should have listened to you and not attacked you. Will you forgive me?”
“Zale rubbed her head and said, “Sure.”The kittens lived together in harmony and grew up to be loving, kind, and affectionate cats.
Children, do you hit others? Hitting is not the way to solve your problems. Hitting is not being kind and hurts the other person. It’s impulsive or rash and careless to hit someone when you get upset. When someone makes you angry, take time and calm down. Don’t lash out and hit. We need to learn to be kind like Yumi did.
Memorize one or both: Proverbs 14:29 He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.
Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.