Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mikayla and the Kittens

(This picture is courtesy of another mom in Mikayla's school, so I apologize for its blurriness)

One week ago, when I came to pick up Mikayla at kindergarten, she begged me to stick around so we could see the kittens that the teacher's son was bringing to the school. I love most animals - especially the baby versions, so that was a no-brainer.

I think there were about 8-10 of the little guys running around - all with various colors and hair length. I cautioned Mikayla immediately that we would not be bringing one home, and she made it clear that she understood.

What I didn't know was that the other folks that were sticking around were there not just to admire the kittens, but to pick them out so they could adopt them. They didn't have a problem at all that we were there as well, but it started to hit Mikayla that everyone else was able to leave with a kitten except for her. This led to the inevitable question - "Why can't I get one?" followed up with the "I promise I'll take care of it".

Well..... the truth is, we're really not that big of cat people. I am, more than John, but in our brief stint of owning a cat, I realized that it caused my eyes to became red and itchy. (That cat is now VERY happily a resident of the Alexander barn, between Mom and I, it's for sure that we saved that little guy's life). Not sure if that's an "every cat thing" but it's been my common response if needed to explain. Throw in that big bundle of fur and enthusiasm that we call "Sydney" and the fact that our house is "really not that big" - and it just doesn't seem like a great idea. Perhaps my biggest concern regarding cats is the amount of home damage I've seen them cause over time - both at my parent's house and my sister's first house. While a sweet little kitten may appear to be potty-trained, who's to say that over time, either due to territorialism or senility it will start to leave the tell-tale smell of a cat-owner's nightmare....

As for the second part of the equation - the truth is, I believe Mikayla would take excellent care of a kitten. She's extremely conscientious, caring, and responsible - therefore having ownership of a kitten would be right up her capable alley. But, she's very sensitive too, and if, perhaps, that kitten got lost, or heaven-forbid, hit by a car - it would be devastating.

Despite all these wonderful reasons, I found myself weakening. I even went out to the car to grab my cell phone so Mikayla could use her plea-full charms on Daddy. Fortunately, Daddy did not answer the phone, or we just might have ended up taking home a white long-haired kitten, with grey accents and the most beautiful blue eyes you've ever seen....... Instead, I got to take home just a tearful Mikayla.

I spoke with John once we returned home and he promised to talk to her about it later that night. But, it never got brought up. I think Mikayla recognized it was an uphill battle. That, and when she remarked later in the afternoon about Sydney looking sad, I poured into this whole song and dance about how she's sad because she thinks you want to replace her (pretty clever, huh?). My sensitive little girl bought right into that, and perhaps guilt alone kept her from begging anymore for a kitten (at least for now.......).

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