Before my daughter Midge was born, I had one close friend. I loved him, he loved me, and we were close enough that I called him my best friend. He was always there for me when I needed someone. If I needed a laugh, I could call him. If I needed tocuddle, I could call him. He was there for me the day I went into labor with my daughter. He spent a lot of time panicking and running around like a madman, but eventually calmed down enough to sit in the bathroom with me while I labored in the tub. We loved each other and spent every day together. A few months ago, that started to change.
Cat is not impressed with my writing or picture taking skills.
That’s him, my ex-best friend. I know all that black hair sort of makes him look like an Italian mobster working part-time at a pizzeria, but he’s actually a cat. He wanted to remain anonymous for this post, so we’re going to call him Cat.
When Midge first realized that she could see things and touch them, Cat was her first target. She loved all our cats, the dogs, and my mother’s cats as well, but Cat was her favorite. She would stop doing whatever she was doing, even if it was nursing, to stare at Cat. When she learned how to reach and grab, Cat was no longer safe to sit within an arm’s reach of Midge. When she started crawling three months ago, that’s when my relationship with Cat went downhill. He stopped spending time with me and started spending time with Midge. Unlike our other pets, he never ran away from my hairless kitten. Often, when Midge is sitting on the floor, Cat goes up to her and rubs on her. Cat rarely rubs on me anymore.
Cat went from watching Midge from a distance as a newborn, to becoming her partner in crime. While I never leave them alone together, I have no worries that Cat is going to harm Midge. I stick around more for his protection than hers. Midge gets a little rough sometimes, but Cat never fights back and rarely runs away. I’m not sure if Cat thinks Midge is a kitten, or thinks he is a baby, but these two have a unlike any I’ve ever seen. They’d spend less time together if they were attached at the hip.
I’d say that Cat is now officially Midge’s cat. That thievin’ baby stole my kitty. They play together, they lay on the floor together, and if Cat wants Midge there’s no way to keep them apart. They make messes together. Midge opens the cabinets and clears them out, and then Cat crawls in. Cat pushes the water dish across the kitchen floor, then Midge dumps it so they can play in the water. Cat and I haven’t cuddled or napped together in months, but it doesn’t matter. He’s happy being someone else’s, and I’m happy to let him. I can’t wait for the day Midge is old enough to respect and enjoy the bond she has with Cat. There’s nothing like the unconditional love and devotion of a pet. (Unless you’re me. If you’re me, then Cat’s love for you was obviously conditional.) Everyone needs a best friend, and my daughter is lucky enough to have one like Cat.
Do you, or your kids, have a special bond with a pet?