One of my favorite books to read to my girls is “Olivia”. I love that little pig. My favorite line is, “After she gets up, and moves the cat, and combs her ears, and brushes her teeth, and moves the cat, Olivia gets dressed.” When we got the book for Samantha’s first birthday, I just waited for the day for my little girl, the daughter of two veterinarians, to move one of our cats.
It was inevitable, I thought, that my children would adore animals like I did. As they got older, I anticipated we would have a house full of fish and rabbits and guinea pigs and that they would bring home stray animals. Of course they would, it’s in their genes.
As Samantha got older, I began to worry. She seemed not too interested in the pets. She pretty much left them alone. She didn’t want to brush them or pet them or play with them, and she wasn’t so keen on trying to move a cat. Ella was the same way.
I was worried. Did I pass no genes onto these children? How come they weren’t obsessed with animals? I’ve even recently gone so far as to take Samantha, now 5, to pet adoption displays at pet stores and such when I have a chance.
I ask her if she wants to go look at the puppies. Not so much. I take her anyway. I ask her if she thinks they’re cute. I ask her if she wants one. Eh. Let’s go, she says. How could this be my child? What is wrong? What 5 year old doesn’t want a puppy? I mean, seriously?
Ella’s equally disinterested. I have to admit, I had given up.
When Penelope started showing real interest in stuffed toys, I thought, well, finally one of my children likes them, but no way she’s going to like animals. When some of her first words were dog, cat, and moo, I thought, well that’s nice she’s starting to say things. When she saw a horse for the first time and went up to pet it’s nose when her bigger sisters were afraid of it, I thought, well, at least she’s a brave girl. And then, one day, it happened.
I heard her coming to me saying, “Here go, Mama. Here go, Mama.” I turned and saw this.
Finally, someone moved a cat. And she continues to do it, following me around, handing me the cat over and over again.
Now the only thing I have to worry about is where I can hide him so he can get a break from all the love.