|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.