Thursday, May 17, 2012

Loving the Felines


Photo from circa 2004

My poor cats.  For 5 years Samantha barely acknowledged their existence, allowing them to be blissfully ignorant of the woes known to house cats the world over who have the misfortune of sharing their spaces with small children.

Blissfully ignorant no more, they have awoken to the dawn of a new day, a day in which a child, hopelessly in love with the very idea of feline companionship, sees fit to hug, kiss, chase, sit on and otherwise maul said felines.

Here's a sample:

Me:  Remember, just pet the cat, Sammi.  No, just PET her, don't pick her up!  PET!  What are you doing?!?  Baby, Delilah's really old.  You have to be gentle.  Pet her, like this.  God job!  Do you hear that?  What's she doing?

Sammi:  She's purring!

Me:  That's right.  And how does she feel?

Sammi:  She feels happy!

Me:  Exactly.  So pet her only

How many times, exactly, do we need to have this conversation?  How many times do I have to yell, "RED LIGHT!" to try to get her to stop running after a terrified cat, maniacally giggling, calling, "Here, kittykittykittykitty..." as her graceless feet thud against the hardwood flooring, contrasting with the mad scrabbling of cat claws.

Walking into her room one day, I saw one of the poor, cornered cats, being held upside down in her clutches.  More discussion of petting only and why what she did hurt him.  More pouting and the usual "Okay, Mommy." 
Oh, and did I mention that these felines in question are upwards in age of 16 years old?  I stopped counting a while back, so I'm guessing now, but they're at least that old.  And one has 3 legs and a raging thyroid condition and weighs a mere 5 lbs. in contrast to her healthier, younger 20 lb. self...

On the plus side, my child has learned how to feed them.  When I get home from work and am rushing around to get stuff done and get her ready for bed, all I have to do is say, "Samantha, feed the cats, please..." and she is beyond happy to do so, from getting a fork from the drawer to scraping the old food out of the dishes, to putting new dry food in the dishes, all the while saying, "No, Addy, don't eat the food yet!  Wait, Delilah, not yet," and gently pushing them away.  I do the wet food part, but that's because she can't yet open the cans.

Maybe that's why the kitties are so tolerant.

8 comments:

Anna Theurer said...

Ah, Becca. . . we have the same conversation in our household. "Gentle. Gentle. Pet the kitty/puppy. GENTLE!!!! Don't pull the tail!" Sammi is more than welcome to come over here and feed out kitties/dog :)

Lisa said...

We had to stop letting Cate feed the cat - she gained like 5 lbs in one month because Cate was feeding her every time she walked past the dish and the silly cat ate it all. It is good to know that I'm not the only one have the same converstation over and over! Cate's new things is "OK mommy I won't do it again" which pacifies me since she says it so solomnly and truthfully (& clearly - yeh ST) but of course the next time the urge hits her, she forgets that promise and we start over! Oh the fun cycles of child hood.

Erin said...

Same deal at our house with Carrigain and our puppy. I have been trying to teach her to pet him with "one hand only." Otherwise it always turns into a giant squeeze. When I reprimand her for being too rough, she tells me, "He loves me." She is probably right...

Leah said...

So sweet. Our, shall we say, more problematic and annoying cat finally decided Cora was enough of a pest to warrant a scratch. Aye, aye. Now she is being a little more gentle. But she's only interested occasionally.

Becca said...

I did forget to mention that these are also cats who have never hissed, never scratched, nothing. Who ever heard of a cat that has never, ever, ever hissed? Even when being annoyed by other cats (we had 4 at one time)?

Rochelle said...

Our dogs are SO patient with Dariya especially, she goes and lays on our 10 yr old dachshund and he just tolerates it. So funny to watch the look on his face!

ChaCHA online said...

Our fears that this would happen to our dog is what prompted my husband and I to pick a sturdy bulldog rather than a delicate Cavalier KCS for our pet. Watching the girls with Beanz lets me know we made the right decision-- no matter how hard they try they can't lift him off the ground! LOL!

Karrie said...

I am giggling while reading this.....because we have the EXACT. SAME. conversation over here!!!! Unfortunately, two of my cats recently passed away, so the one that we have left is completely tormented by Taylor!