My stepdaughter loves cats. Not in the way we love all of God’s creatures, she LOVES them to infinity and beyond. She has downloaded almost 300 pictures of cats on her iPad. Yep, she’s obsessed.
I don’t like cats much. In fact, I think I have a little bit of Ailurophobia. My fear is not irrational though. I witnessed my friends kitten attack her owner every chance she got. “Princess” would fool people because she was so cute. She would hide under beds or sofas waiting for my friend to come home and pounce on her, bite her, scratch her and find other creative ways to torture her. The final straw for me came when my friend explained that her cat hid behind her toilet while she was in the shower and then jumped on her back, digging her claws in from the top of her back all the way down to the bottom. I’ve learned never to be fooled by cuteness again.
When she was with her mother, Mila was given a very cute cat that she aptly named “Precious”. (Why do people give their cats such ironic names??) Needless to say, she missed Precious when she came to live with us. I bought her books, pictures and showed her funny videos about cats like this one so she could get her cat fix –
Nothing’s better than the real thing, so eventually she started asking if we would buy her a cat. Click below for my answer –
I can’t believe I agreed with a cat!
Because her love for cats is so transcendent, everything else kind of seems like hatred in comparison. When we lived in Bermuda, the stray cat population was almost as high as the human population. These feral cats were everywhere begging for food, fighting each other and mating at all hours of the night outside our window. They were thug cats.
One day a stray came up to us and of course, Mila ran up to it and asked “Can we keep it?”
I said, “No, get away from that ugly cat! He’s full of diseases and he might bite you.”
Mila burst into tears and said, “What if someone said your dog was ugly? How would you feel?” In my defense, that cat was kind of ugly and stinky. I had to hold back laughter as she asked me about my hypothetical ugly dog. Why not ask, “How would you feel if someone called you ugly?” I didn’t pretend to understand the 7 year old mind.
I did take advantage of the teaching moment though. I apologized to her and said that I understood how important cats were to her. I would never call another cat ugly again.
Fast forward to age 11. She has an even more inordinate love for cats. We might have to enroll her in a 12 Step program. When she asks us about getting a cat, my answer is still nonononononono.
The other day I walked into her room and she was sitting on the bed crying. I didn’t even have a chance to ask, before she blurted out “You hate cats!”
Me: “Well, hate is a strong word, strongly dislike or completely distrust would probably be more accurate.”
Mila : “You only like dogs. Not all cats are bad like your friends was and not all of them corner their families in the bedroom“
Me: “You’re right, but I’m not prepared to get any pet whether it be a dog or cat if we can’t spend the time I think it deserves from its owners. I don’t hate cats, now is just not the right time to get one. Let’s wait a little while.” I’ve learned that you have to make a lot of concessions when you’re in a stepfamily. She seemed to be satisfied with this answer.
The next day, she ran up to me with the biggest smile on her face. “Jayden’s cat just had kittens. They saved one for me. She’s black and white, super cute and they named her Princess. Can we get her?”
This post is dedicated to you Mila. I hope you enjoy all the pictures and videos. I love you more than you love cats 🙂
Photo Credit – Commons Wikipedia