Ever since my little one turned two she has been tagged as a big girl. The attempt from me and my partner’s end has been to make her value her independence, however the elders in the family have had a different perspective. The mothers are in agreement that the little one is not so little anymore and it is time we plan another baby.
My husband and I just like every other millennial parents have our reservations about restarting the arduous journey to parenting, version 2.0. Therefore my husband came with a hack that has temporarily taken away the focus from us. A few weeks ago we welcomed a male kitten in our house.
My husband and his sister have had pets of all kinds since a young age. The most favorite for them was a rabbit , a tiny loveable piece of their hearts as they often describe to me. Hence it was love at first sight when my husband spotted the kitten, meowing to him with those eyes saying, “Please take me along” .While for my siblings, my parents never felt the need for more pets. We were quite a handful as far as I remember.
My daughter who is going to turn three soon was not very accepting to the new member. As a first born and being given all the attention, she abhorred the idea of sharing her love. This was evident when she strongly expressed her dislike for the kitten when it tried to play with her toys.
As a mother and no experience with (real) pets until now, my inhibitions were mostly for the safety of my little one. It has been over a month now with this kitten and believe me you, I am mostly saving the cat from the baby. How did that happen!
My daughter warmed up to the kitten in lesser time than we anticipated. Though I still fear that it might scratch my arms with its nails but not for our girl. She shouts at him when he jumps in her cupboard sheepishly cozying with her clothes. She laughs at him for pouncing in the air to catch a fly. She reprimands it for not finishing the meals completely. She caresses him first thing in the morning and asks him if he slept well.
My child and her innocence in handling and trying to control another living creature gives me utmost joy. One of these mornings I deliberately shut her room door to avoid her sleep being disturbed. As soon as the kitten meowed outside her door, my daughter was wide awake and excitedly said, “Mamma the cat is hungry, give him food.” It is in these moments that I credit my husband for introducing love and care to her in such a special form.
On another day we returned home after a short trip to the local market, my girl rushed to the kitten’s room and started caressing him. There was a non-verbal communication between the two and the sight could melt anyone. My mom visited us a few days back and she flinched a little when the kitten tried to get too close to her. Our girl compassionately touched my mom’s hand and said, “Don’t worry grandma, he will only graze past your legs without harming you”. Aww !! My words as well.
The scene in our house nowadays is mostly that of chasing. The kitten running around trying unsuccessfully to find a way to get to catch the pigeons in the balcony. My daughter throwing anything and everything and rejoicing how the kitten fetches those things. There is a lot of physical activity in the house, the kid and the kitten are on their toes and so are we , keeping an eye on both.
I share their pictures with my friends and they give us brownie points for teaching our kid social skills this early on. It is a long way to see if the new company reduces or increases my stress levels but for now my home is filled with love, affection and care.
Simba, that’s how we endearingly call the kitten and for now it has taken all the attention and me and my partner couldn’t be more grateful.