Fuzzy Pacifism

Babies Smack Cats
Originally uploaded by This Guy Colin
Our friend Maria's daughter Ally came over the other day. She loves dogs -- has a dog, who we later watched joyously jump into a pool over and over again to retrieve a toy -- but this was her first encounter with a cat.

Noah, on the other hand, has seen his share of babies.

Cats, at least my cats, seem to have an innate sense of the destructive power of children. Yet they also seem to know somehow that you're not allowed to scratch or bite them -- no matter what.

As I watched little Ally approaching Noah, who sat admirably placid on the ottoman and awaited his pummelling, I wondered if he understood the nature of knee-high humans.

Color me an anthropomorphisizer, but on multiple occasions I've gotten the distinct hunch that pets know babies are untouchable, and that not being nice to the little ones will earn you the wrath of the full-sizers.

Maybe, maybe not. But while I'm confessing to unpopular opinions about animal insight, I'll also admit a strange sense of pride at having such kid-friendly pets.

I've watched Vince stand motionless while a toddler yanked on his ears, making no sound but a soft whimper and looking up at me for rescue. I quickly separated them told the kid to play nice, of course, but as I did I felt a pang of kinship and respect for Vince that went beyond simple sympathy.

I was downright *proud* of him. Proud to know him. I'll admit it. Even if he isn't a jump-into-water-with-reckless-abandon kind of guy.

And when Noah headed off to the laundry room to jump up on something out of Ally's reach, I didn't blame him one bit.

He'd done his job. He hung around for the meeting. He gave her the chance to play nice. Placidity only goes so far.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My grandcats and granddog are quite bright and very sensitive, thank you very much. And I'll get to hug them in less than a week!

Love and hugs