Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We always hurt the ones we love...

...yet they keep on loving us: An allegorical (but true) story

When I got out of the shower this morning, I noticed Sweet Boy's bedroom door was closed. I heard him in there, playing and singing, and thought nothing of it. Until I heard, "Oh, kitty, don't move kitty, stop it, stay still!"

Uh oh.

So I opened the door and discovered Sweet Boy stuffing our 13-year-old cat, Pitino, into his stuffed animal pile in the corner of the room. He was pushing Pitino down, while Pitino tried to scramble back up to the top of the pile, eyes big and black, ears flat, only to be covered by another few stuffed animals.

I knew Sweet Boy meant no real harm, but I figured this was as good a time as any to reinforce the whole Pitino-is-a-living-creature concept, and explain that stuffing him into the stuffed animal pile could hurt him badly, maybe even kill him.

OK, so maybe "kill him" was a little over the top, but I needed to make the point. And the point was made: Sweet Boy plopped in a heap on the floor, sobbing huge tears. "I don't want to hurt Pitino! I just wanted him to play with me!"

After some tear wiping and further explanations of appropriate play with our pets, Sweet Boy and I got dressed and headed dowstairs to eat breakfast. Pitino lurked under the dining room table. "Why don't you go over there and give Pitino a kiss and tell him you're sorry and you won't do that again?" Good idea, Mom: He went over and sat on the floor next to the table and put his hand out toward his kitty.

I thought it would take some coaxing, but no, Pitino made the first move. He walked right over to his boy, put his front paws up on Sweet Boy's chest, and nuzzled his neck, even licked his teary cheek. Sweet Boy giggled and said "I love you, kitty-pants. I'm sorry I hurt you." And I could hear the cat purring from the next room.

Granted, Pitino is a pretty uniquely over-affectionate little creature, but on a day when I sought forgiveness from a human loved one, the scene was especially poignant.

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