We’d been thinking seriously about getting a pet (or even pets ) for a while but we knew that it couldn’t be a dog because our little bear was very jumpy around dogs.
Maybe a Talking Tom? Hmmm been there, done that…!
Maybe a hamster? Not ideal because of the relatively short life-span and that fact they’re nocturnal…
A goldfish? Maybe, but again the life span’s short and although they’re very relaxing to watch, you can’t interact with them much.
- A cat sounded ideal because:
- They’re relatively independent
- They curl up on your lap
- They don’t need walking (bonus due to us both working and hubby’s shifts meaning it can be hard for me to get out in the evening once our bear’s in bed).
Yes, we decided we would get a kitten. That way, the family pet could grow up with our little bear.
…or 2 kittens! When hubby went to choose a cat, there were 2 that ‘chose’ him and had apparently also decided to ‘hang out’ together!
The timing for introducing pets to the household was ‘purrfect’ (sorry!) – it was our little bear’s 1st week in Reception at school.
Though she settled in really well and coped with the expected tiredness really well, she would come home from school and chat to the kittens about her day.
While I pottered about in the kitchen getting her snack and then tea, I could hear her telling the kittens about someone or other and what they had been doing, what they had been saying, what they had been learning! Yes, our kittens know phonics, what our little bear had in her lunchbox and the ditties for forming all the letters of the alphabet!
It’s not just after school, it’s also before school. Because in the morning when hubby or I open her bedroom door to wake her up, in run the cats, the black one especially, to say “good morning” in their own cat-like way. They worked wonders for getting her up and out of bed 🙂 They still do.
Our cats have taught her about:
- personal space
- respect (not stroking them if the’re eating and not touching them after a visit to the vets ‘to stop them having babies’.)
One day we’ll have to deal with the grief, of course. Until then, we will enjoy them.
As the nursery rhyme goes:
“They followed her to school one day
It was against the rules!
It made the children laugh and play to see the cats at school”
…and that is the therapy – they make our little bear laugh. You can’t say fairer than that.
Have you got family pets? Do you think they make a difference to your little one’s behaviour?