Entertainment in the form of conversation with a two and four year old is hard to beat. I spent the weekend with my brother’s family and was immersed in a world of dragons, dinosaurs, strange children’s stories about moles with poo on their head, growing crystals, modelling chocolate, kings and princesses, train rides to Africa and much, much more.
It was my nephew’s fourth birthday and 95% of his presents were dinosaur based, right down his birthday cake and dinosaur tattoos. He told me that dinosaur means terrible lizard and that a t-rex and a pterodactyl merged to form a terrifying flying menace which flies around Edinburgh. To kill a T-rex, you must stab it in the stomach with a sword and run between its legs. I think the first bit is true at least.
My two year old niece on the other hand, is happy making pretend tea and moving beans from one pot to another whilst chattering away in pidgin English. When she is out and about, she is permanently attached to a toy buggy which she pushes everywhere with great determination regardless of whether it is occupied. She loves her guinea pig and insists on stuffing carrots in its mouth while it dangles desperately off her tiny knee. My world seems positively bleak now that I’m back at home.
Walking to the shops earlier this week, I passed a lady, perfectly coiffed, with two dachshunds in tow. Looking rather forlorn and somewhat embarrassed, both dogs were draped in sparkly pink coats and matching collars. Had their hair been long enough, no doubt it would have been styled accordingly.
We all do it to some degree, but should their be a cut off point beyond which our desire to anthropomorphise (sp.?) our pets becomes animal cruelty? If they could talk, I should imagine these dachshunds’ tales of woe would all hinge on their owner’s desire to dress them up like barbie dolls. No doubt the poor mites are laughed at by the other dogs in the park on a daily basis…
Having said all that, I couldn’t help dressing my cat up at Christmas! – he looks happy doesn’t he?!
And whilst I’m on the subject of domestic pets…how about this as a method for taking your dog for a walk? (snapped from the car as I drove past)
Yesterday our big fat ginger cat left for a new home and a new life. The decision to give him away seemed sensible given that we will be starting a new chapter in our own lives too. A move to a new city, a new job and a new flat (which doesn’t allow pets) meant we had to make a difficult choice.
Since adopting the cat three years ago, he has been the source of many different emotions: annoyance at his 20 minute conversations that consist of ‘meow, meow, meow’ even after he’s been fed and groomed to within an inch of his life; murderous when he tangles himself around your feet if you are in a hurry or carrying pans of hot food across the kitchen; disgust at his tendency to drool whilst purring and padding in contentment on your tummy or worse, when he sneezes the excess drool over your face if something tickles his nasal passages; amusement at his ‘mad’ half hour when he runs around the house batting anything that moves; delight when he loudly attempts to sneak up on a fat pigeon then visibly sighs when he inevitably fails; but most of all, he made us love him and now he’s gone, the house feels empty and the rooms are all quiet.
There’s no one to great you as you step through the front door or feline calls of ‘is anyone there, I need company?’ if we are upstairs busying ourselves in the office. I miss the half hour before bed time when he chooses to sit on my lap and keep me company with a purr like an outboard motor. My big, fat ginger friend has gone and I miss him. So here is a tribute to fatty – I hope they look after you in your new home and appreciate your loveable personality and odd little quirks!
My friend walks past my house most mornings as she takes her daughters to school. And most mornings my cat spends the hour between 8.00 and 9.00am gazing dreamily out of the window, gawping at passersby. Recently, one of my friend’s daughters said she saw ‘fatty’ (yes that’s his name) smiling at her.
I pondered this for a time – perhaps it is like the question – ‘do bears S*** in the woods’? We know they probably do, but we never see it happen. So I reckon my cat does smile at the children as they pass by, but only briefly and not while the parents are looking.
I have attempted a cartoon strip that illustrates how I think it happens… It needs some work, but here is the first attempt.