‘Mummy, mummy, mummy, I want cat, please please can we have cat? I would love cat. I would take care of cat and love cat. Mummy? Mummy mummy please? If I tidy room I can get cat? Mummy?’
Ahh, sweet isn’t it? It is. The first time you hear it. It’s kind of endearing the second, third and fourth times too. But after years and years of mental torture I just wanted it to end. I turned up at our nearest RSPCA centre and begged them for a cat, any cat, even a bald one. They didn’t have a singleton but two sisters who would have to come as a job lot. ’Brilliant’ I thought naively, ‘one adopted cat each for our adopted children’.
This about five years ago. Our children were both at primary school. Even without cats, life was very hard. Our eldest child was a boiling mass of anger, our youngest was always touching, scratching, breaking, hiding. I don’t know what I was thinking. I must have been out of my mind (I was).
The adorable, outward-going friendly cat couldn’t take the pace in our house and ran away after only a few months. We put up posters and knocked doors and then when it became clear the cat had gone for good, oh how we grieved (and raged and scribbled and smashed).
The cat that stayed was the timid, shy one, who didn’t like to be stroked, didn’t want to sit on a lap or be dressed as a fairy. Her name is Ron. She had a VERY hard time in our house. She was pursued relentlessly, shut into bedrooms, put into boxes, fought over, shouted over. Children with attachment difficulties can be unspeakably horrible to animals and mine were no exception.
As I was at home more than the children were and not all that partial to cats, Ron gradually started to bond with me. She would follow me around, sit under my desk and eventually sleep on my lap. The children watched this relationship develop and were mad with jealousy. ’You like the cat more than you like us’ they would scream. And then Ron would be pursued with extra vigour.
Although I love Ron dearly (and enjoy in a dastardly way the preference Ron gives me), her arrival into our family was almost more than I could cope with at the time, on top of the many of layers of trauma behaviours and wobbly attachment difficulties. I should have waited until our children were older and life was a little easier and not given in to the incessant nagging.
NB The author has since acquired two guinea pigs ‘Bart’ and ‘Treacle’ and a tank of miscellaneous fish.
I think Ron’s beautiful, even with pants on her head! I do also think you were/are a little bonkers too
(Written by the owner of 2 cats and 2 goldfish)
You are right, Claire. Almost 100%.
Oh no, what am I letting myself in for? I have agreed to get a dog…a rescue dog. I can blame the therapist – it was his advice. And in just confirms I am also bonkers.
How is the relationship now between Ron and the children? She looks like she has found a safe haven and is attempting to disguise herself as an item of laundry?!
She spends the day time hours pleasing herself and from 4 o’clock onwards finding increasingly inventive ways to hide. She tells me she is dreading the holidays and may move next door.
My younger girl NEEDS a dog. The question is how long can I hold out? I got two rescue guinea pigs as a stop-gap, but now we are moving to a house with a garden and it looks like the dog may be looming ever nearer. This post is going to buy me at least 6 extra months though. I really am not ready for another baby and a new dog would be just that.
aww, love the pants on head – my cat has cunning places to hide – and yes – the sometimes constant watching like a hawk and intervening can be exhausting. loved reading this post from #WASO
Rescue animals have often been abused too, even if not, they will be confused by a new home and need care AND a place to escape from the kids. You can’t blame a stressed cat/dog who lashes out when given no respite from unwanted attention. They aren’t toys so consider their needs as well.
(PS Good luck with the book!)