Monday, February 15, 2010

"Children As Pets" - The Cat Years

Cleaning out the desk the other day, I found this clipping and thought I'd share one of my favorites with you. Wish I could take credit for writing it, but that prolific author, Anonymous
gets the credit.

I just realized that while children are dogs-

loyal and affectionate-teenagers are cats.

It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it,

train it, boss it around. It puts it's head on

your knee and gazes at you as if you were

a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with

enthusiasm when you call it.

Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy

turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come

inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who

died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging

your doorsteps, it disappears. You won't see it

again until it gets hungry-then it pauses on it's

sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn it's

nose up at whatever you're serving.

When you reach out to ruffle it's head, in that old

affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then

gives you a blank stare as if trying to remember

where it has seen you before. You, not realizing

that the dog is now a cat, think something must

be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial,

so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go to family


Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to

fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume

that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt

and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your

pet behave. Only now you're dealing with a cat.

So everything that worked before now produces

the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it

runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the

counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your

hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you

can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish

of food near the door, and let it come to you. But

remember that a cat needs your help and your

affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking

that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely

forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day, your grown-up child will walk into the

kitchen, give you a big kiss and say "You've

been on your feet all day. Let me get those

dishes for you."

Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.

(For Soccer Boy, who at 14, is still all dog!)


Tracy P. said...

Oh my...this is absolutely priceless! Just this morning I was snuggling with my daughter and wondering how much longer I can possibly make this chapter last. The dog chapter.

Susie said...

So true!!

Anonymous said...

So funny! I hopped on over from Mommy-Mondays, nice to meet you. :)