Dog or Cat, No Reptiles Allowed

I’m not an animal person.  I grew up with pets.  Several dogs spring to mind when I think of my childhood, we won’t mention the one that just wanted to bite me every time I went outside. There were always stray cats stalking the yard and even a few bunnies that put up with me.  That said, I never really bonded with them.  They were cute and fuzzy and that was it.

I married a dog person.  We have always had at least one dog.  Watching my husband and children I have noticed a few things.  Some people are born with an affection for animals, and some are clearly born with an affection for either dogs or cats.  Rarely both.

Meet Cowboy.

100_5748(I was playing with photo software, ignore the text) Cowboy is a mixed breed.  He was a free adoption at the local pet store.  He is a beautiful dog.  He was chosen because he was the calmest of the bunch.  I’m positive his owners drugged him with sleeping pills.  Once we brought him home, he woke up.  He doesn’t dig or chew things up.  Which is good.  He barked a lot and jumped up on anyone who had the nerve to walk in the backyard.  Bless his little heart. (Southern for unfortunately slow to learn)  He eventually, learned to stop barking excessively and mostly stopped jumping on visitors.  On the positive: no one dares enter our backyard with him there.

My oldest has mixed feelings about Cowboy.  That’s not true.  She really doesn’t like him.  He’s big and heavy.  He has a tendency to get overexcited and knock people down. In a word he’s rough.

My youngest adores the ground he runs around killing grass on.  He can do no wrong in her eyes.  She was born a dog person.  She would stand at the glass doors and watch him, when she was too little to go out on her own.  They roll around on the grass together.  They hunt squirrels together and plan camping trips.  She is as rough as he is, a perfect pair.  He hates baths.  Yet, he will stand there and allow her to give him a bath.  They truly love each other.

Introducing Kitty.

kitty5

Her real name is Midnight, but we call her Kitty.  The small one is her baby, she has a new family.  This is not a good photo, but she just shows up as a black smudge.  Kitty was a rescue from the local park.  People use the park to drop off unwanted cats, this is our second cat from there.  Kitty is the exact opposite of Cowboy.  She is calm and lazy.  My kind of pet.  Kitty is an odd cat.  She drinks out of the toilet, follows us around the block when we go for a walk, and loves a good belly rub. She allows the girls to do anything they want, without the usual crankiness associated with cats.

My youngest still has not learned how to be gentle.  She thinks she is being gentle, but it usually ends with Kitty meowing for help. Kitty never scratches or bites, she looks at me pleading for help with bright green eyes.  They have a strained relationship.

My oldest adores Kitty.  In the morning she rushes to let her in, picks her up, and cuddles with her on the sofa.  They spend most of the day like that.  They are always together.  At times, she calls the cat Toothless.  Kitty makes a face that resembles the dragon.  I know people will not believe this, but they love each other.  Kitty is an extraordinary cat.

After years of watching these two pets interact with my kids, I know one is a dog person and the other a cat person.  Their personalities are as different as the pet they love. When they visit friends and family, my youngest is drawn to dogs of every size and shape.  My oldest may pet a dog and admit it’s cute, but you can see she is not in love with it.  My youngest falls in love with every dog she meets.  My oldest is drawn to cats.  They are calmer, soft, and small.  She scoops them up and loves on them.  Her love of cats is universal.

Like everything with siblings they are different, they are raised in the same house but they came pre-wired .  They like different things, and their personalities are totally different.  One is a puppy and one is a cat.

Which am I?  I adore Kitty.  At this moment she is curled up next to my feet on the lazy boy.  Sorry Cowboy.  What does this have to do with writing?  Lots.  Watching my kids with animals gives me mountains of material that can be used later.  Of course that’s just true about kids in general.

Do you have a pet?

CK

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