Last July, I adopted a furry companion from a pet rescue. I had no intention of getting another cat (my family already has two), but the moment her paw grazed my shirt at a pet store, I couldn't deny her ability to calm me. It's hard to explain all the ways this cat helps me deal with my stress, but I've noticed she and my youngest have a special bond, too. In fact, there's some silent conversations I'm convinced my cat and my kid have actually had because they look a little too suspect, if you know what I mean.
My 5-year-old son is only slightly mischievous on his own, but there have been times I know my cat — Feathers — is in on (and probably encouraging) his shenanigans. I'm into it, because I have my own silent conversations with Feathers, too (don't tell anyone), but the times those two are in cahoots, trouble is sure to follow. My daughter (she's 10 and really loud) and Feathers have a whole different relationship. My girl tries, hopelessly and usually to no avail, to befriend my furry companion only to face heartless rejection. Her energy is all wrong for such a cool cat.
My son just knows how to handle Feathers in a way very few probably can and, really and truly, I feel like they have their own language. Here are some of the conversations I'm sure they're having (and if not, I'm losing it).
The "It Can't Be Bedtime Yet" Conversation
Many, many nights, when we reach that special evening hour where it's time to retire to our beds (so I can re-set for the next day with a little reality television), my son and the cat find one another to converse about how best to distract, bargain, or beg for a few more minutes of play time. Of course, 99 times out of 100, they get an extra few minutes because, well, they're adorable together.
The "More Treats?" Conversation
My cat, Feathers, loves her treats. We have her trained to clap her hands when she wants them. However, the other day, my son asked if he could give her a couple treats. I said it was OK, not thinking there'd be an issue because honestly, why would there be? About 15 minutes of eerie quiet time later, I went upstairs to find my son in another room playing, while the cat had her way with the entire bag of treats.
The "Can We Reach It Together?" Conversation
Because my son is 5, I often catch him in the middle of standing on top of, or climbing up on, something. He's curious and never fails to give me a heart attack on the daily (thanks, son). Sometimes I'll find my cat near him almost as if she's an accomplice or, more than likely, the look-out.
The "You Distract Her" Conversation
Yeah, these two are pretty good at tag-teaming my attention so the other can get into something. Feathers loves to roll at my feet for a pet while my son will flutter his lashes at me. When either of them are doing those two things, I know to look for the other ASAP.
The "Did You Spill It Or Me?" Conversation
Messes are part of life with kids. Add cats to the mix and I'm cleaning up someone's messes pretty often. When my son spills his drink, he blames the cat, and when she makes a mess (missing her litter box), I feel as though she's begging him not to rat her out.
The "If We Hide We Won't Get In Trouble" Conversation
Those times when either my son or my cat are in trouble for something they didn't tell me (like spilling a drink or missing the litter box), I just can't seem to find them. It's almost as if they've discussed, at length and beforehand, where and when to hide so they don't have to face the consequences of their tomfoolery.
The "Want To Share My Dinner?" Conversation
Every day, Feathers manages to eat some of my son's food and I don't think it's a coincidence. I guess I should just be grateful my son isn't pulling food from her cat bowl (that I know of).
The "You're My Best Friend" Conversation
One of my favorite things in the world is basking in those moments when all is quiet in my home, and my kids and my cats (aka best friends furrever) are looking lovingly into each other's eyes. It doesn't last long though, because cats and kids are damn unpredictable.