We spotted the trendlet in a loony bookstore in (where else?) Woodstock last summer, but now that the New York Times is on board, it's official: The "Indigo Children" have arrived. (No Times link without registering, but you can sample the lunacy here.) This hilarious conceit sounds like it was created to accessorize some fatuous ex-hippie Ivy League ninny in a Woody Allen screenplay, but I swear it's true: There's a network of New Age baby-boomer authors and gullible parent-followers who believe that today's "difficult" kids--whether clinically symptomatic for ADHD or simply spoiled and insufferable--are actually a new breed of more highly evolved beings, who will bring humanity to some (very vaguely specified) next level or post-Aquarian nirvana. (They're "indigo" based on the color of their aura, according to one of the founding scientific investigators, who made this discovery based on...her innate ability to see aura colors.) Indigos often have large, luminous eyes; they are "extremely bright, precocious children with an amazing memory and a strong desire to live instinctively...sensitive, gifted souls." It's the perfect apotheosis of Boomer parenting: Not only is my kid not a "problem"--my kid is here to save the world!
Yes, the next time little Granola or Dylan bites the cat or kicks in a pastry case at the local Starbucks, be prepared for a simpering parent to bite her lip, muster her patience, and share with you the Truth about the rampant offspring: Indigos are just like that, and maybe you're just not ready for the kind of mellow, non-authoritarian world they're trying to create!
Today's bonus revelation, however, is that there are also Indigo Cats. (Yes, folks, it's Friiiidaaaay!) These cats belong to a breed usually called "Ragdoll," but a quick investigation into their history and characteristics will reveal that the feline Indigos are among us. They were bred in the Sixties--in California-- by a woman who later claimed that the cats had space alien and human DNA. (The breeder was long thought to be delusional, but now we know better!) They are the subject of many myths, such as that they are impervious to pain (due to their ability to go "limp" when held) or that they are too lazy to catch mice. (They are too enlightened to do so.) They have gorgeous blue (ahem, blue) eyes. And they display a sort of benign narcissism that many might label "disruptive"--for instance, sitting squarely on the inane New York Times lifestyle article you were reading. (Your Indigo Raggie is actually trying to raise your consciousness to a higher plane, one nearer its food dish.) Indigo cats, like Indigo children, are also intuitive healers, identifying warm parts of your aura and settling their furry bulk on the neediest chakras.
As an award-winning science writer, however, I felt the need to test my Indigo cat/Ragdoll hypothesis with some objective criteria, namely this diagnostic instrument compiled by some of the founding parents of Indigo theory. (Just replace the word "child" with "cat" throughout.) Statistical sample: N = 1 (Lexi, shown above). P ("preposterous") value: Highly significant. Here are highlights of this landmark research establishing that Ragdolls are Indigo:
- Did your child come into the world acting like royalty? Totally--even in a pet-shop crate.
- Does your child have a feeling of deserving to be here? Totally--even after she leaves the litter pan without covering over.
- Does your child have an obvious sense of self? To an amazing degree, enhanced by vast amounts of fur and adipose tissue.
- Does your child have difficulty with discipline and authority? Only when we foolishly try to curb her performance art on the kitchen table.
- Does your child refuse to do certain things they [sic] are told to do? Yes--because we fail to see that by tearing off the kitchen cabinet veneer, she is remaking our world.
- Is waiting in lines torture for your child? She looked definitely stressed in the vet's waiting room, but it might have been the Rottweiler.
- Is your child frustrated by ritual-oriented systems that require little creativity? Raggies spurn all rituals except those involving turkey breast and body rubs.
- Does your child see better ways of doing thing at home and at school? Oh, yes. She rearranges my desktop accessories and writing implements by carrying them around the house, singing to them, and depositing them at mystically determined locations.
- Is your child a nonconformist? Definitely--she will not conform to the cat carrier that easily held our less-ample felines, because the world needs to evolve to accomodate 15-lb. cats.
- Does your child refuse to respond to guilt trips? Her big blue eyes always carry the same message: I'm the one who needs to lighten up.
- Does your child get bored rather easily with assigned tasks? Again the diagnosis fits! Even eating is too uncreative for Lexi; she must toss her bits of chow all over the floor in delightful patterns!
- Does your child display symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder? What was that again?
- Is your child particularly creative? Ragdoll cats create good karma. That counts.
- Does your child display intuition? Whoa, yeah. Reads my mind when I'm thinking "Hm, time for a can of Fancy Feast?"
- Does your child have strong empathy for others? To a touching degree. She knows, for instance, that at 6 a.m. on a weekend, I am tragically wasting time in bed that could be spent, oh, doing something involving turkey breast and a body rub.
- Did your child develop abstract thinking very early? We suspect so; her eyes track back and forth in her head while her gaze is fixed on "nothing." Indigo children, say their advocates, see angels. Lexi may see cosmic turkeys, big-breasted ones, or dancing salamis.
- Is your child very intelligent? While the IQ of our Ragdoll is a subject of intense academic debate, she has shown extraordinary gifts for pressing us into her domestic service.
- Is your child very talented (may be identified as gifted)? We identify everyone in the CrazyStable as "gifted." It's a perk of living here.
- Does your child seem be a daydreamer? See "eyes track back and forth," above.
- Does your child have very old, deep, wise looking eyes? Well, they are very very blue...
- Does your child have spiritual intelligence? I'm thinking yes, based on my reading of her aura and her whisker energy fields.
So there you have it: More than 10 answers and your cat--or kid--is an Indigo. More than 15, and it's definite. Crystal blue persuasion, baby!