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The Cat Years

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just realized that while children are dogs - loyal and affectionate, -
teenagers are cats. It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train
it, boss it around. It puts its head on your knees and gazes at you as
if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when
you call it.

Then around 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat. When
you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died
and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears.
You won't see it again until it gets hungry - then it pauses on its
sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever
you're serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old
affectionate gesture,it twists away from you, then gives you a blank
stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be
desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of
depressed. It won't go on family outings.

Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit
on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt
and fear, you redouble your efforts to to make your pet behave.

Only now you're dealing with a cat, so that everything that worked
before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it,and it
runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go
toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave
like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to
you. But remember that a cat needs your help and affection too. Sit
still, and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap that it has
not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day, your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big
kiss and say "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes
for you." Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.
post #2 of 6
I teach middle school. I often refer to what I do as "hearding cats."
post #3 of 6
At what point did they become sloths?
post #4 of 6
Ya know what, Bonni? That's beautiful. Thanks. I'll try to remember it! Rachel turned 13 in April...
post #5 of 6
don't forget to spay or neuter all your animals. Otherwise some pesky tom cat will be coming by every night
post #6 of 6
A friend of mine has an interesting theory as to why dogs are better than cats. It's a question of loyalty.... a 600 lb. dog will lick your face and love you just the same. A 600 lb. cat will EAT YOU FOR LUNCH!
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