Cats, Kids, Consequences, Death

 So we’ve finally got some pussy cats. It’s been a long time coming - 20 years for me personally, and I must admit I’ve missed having a cat every single one of those 7,300 days. I’m a cat person, but it’s impossible to have pets when you have a tendency to move countries on a regular basis. It’s just not fair on them. And of course, I believe it’s important for kids to have animals - they teach them so much - so after making the boys a promise we’d get cats, I’ve been nagged ever since. A promise is a promise.

Bedtime loving...
Our new family members are divine. A long-legged Munchkin called Riddick and a fluffy, cuddly Ragdoll called Luther. The sheer joy these little buggers immediately brought into our home has been something special. Animals really are one of life’s true joys.

But see, here’s my problem. The boys are still young enough (at six and seven) not to have any real concept of death. Lex is starting to understand it, but the idea of an end of physical existence is not something they’ve grasped or been exposed to. That is not a bad thing of course. Many children around the world do not have the luxury of innocence.

Butter wouldn't melt
As such, they’re swinging the cats around like bloody toys, and every moment I see them doing this, my heart skips a beat as I worry about the physical and emotional well-being of these cuties. Poor little buggers, but then again, I’m amazed at the flexibility of their bodies - thank god!

The other challenge it’s brought is we’re always yelling at the boys to stop doing whatever they’re doing. For example, just now, I asked them to PLEASE STOP pretending to be doggies barking at the cats, because the cats are getting scared. Or PLEASE be kind, PLEASE stop flushing the cats in the toilet, and no they don’t like being thrown in the air, and no they don’t like being pulled out from underneath something (because they’re bloody hiding to escape you) by their tail, etc…

And then I’ll experience moments when they’ll both be kissing and cuddling the cats, or going off to sleep with the kittens curled up beside them, or chilling while watching TV together. It’s a relief to have these moments of beauty.

However, in the chaos of their rough and tumble play, it’s struck something deep inside me. The idea that my kids can be cruel is abhorrent to me.

While I know in my heart of hearts that this is not a long-term possibility, it’s hard for this Mumma to watch. Equally, I understand that the boys do not understand the consequences of this play or how fragile these babies really are. Obviously my greatest concern is that one of those consequences is death. That’s one way they’ll learn about it I suppose… Then again, if it happens, I know my sensitive little lads will be devastated!!!

Note Mum's Ugg Boots
I tried explaining what death could mean to Jax one night this week. I just needed him to understand that throwing a cat into a glass door was not a good idea and could kill it. Our chat didn’t go down very well. He sobbed and sobbed and sobbed… great work Mumma! But I want them to understand consequences before something heartbreaking does happen, because I think I need to protect them too. My boys would be inconsolable if they hurt the cats.

Our new family members are not an easy experience for Mum and Dad at the moment - bloody hell, kittens and kids together - do we have rocks in our heads? But with them both circling my feet as I write, begging for attention, purring their joy at my company, I sure am happy to have cats in my life again. They’ve just got to survive the boys’ attention.

But they survived their first week, so fingers crossed they’ll survive ‘til old age.

Anyone else have to deal with rambunctious children and family pets?

Yours, without the bollocks

Andrea
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