If there’s one thing that I know our eldest got from me, it’s definitely his love for our pets. Shown rather roughly and awkwardly, but it’s there.
I consider it a gift to be able to relate to animals the way we do. It’s not something we are simply born with: it’s as much taught as it is natural, at least that’s what I believe. I can’t quantify that by comparing myself and my son as i have no recollection of whether or not I was taught. I can tell you that our eldest had extremely early exposure to cats.
I will confess now that, as a newborn, our eldest slept on the same bed on which cats crossed back and forth, cuddling with us and checking out the new little creature we’d brought home. Llew’s cries were a new thing for them to hear and encounter–it terrified most of the felines. But at the same time, they were curious and we allowed them to look upon him. Two cats, the ones my husband and I raised from kittenhood, were even bold enough to provide warmth for him whenever he would kick off his blankets.
As Llew grew older, we started allowing him to approach them. This was his first real exposure to the household pets although I’m sure his awareness of their existence began in the womb with the sound of their barks and meows. Each animal exercised extreme patience as his little fists pounded on their heads and bellies in his attempt to touch them.
We are reaching the point where Kian is about to properly meet his feline and canine siblings. I don’t know how he will take to them despite being raised more or less the same way as his brother. Llew went through a phase (lasted for a few months) when he would purposely hit the cats and dogs. Imagine my horror and fear that they might retaliate! Yes, even a pet-loving family can have pet hitting children. Apparently, it’s a kid thing, as explained to me by other animal welfare friends and our vet. That said, we’ve chosen to err on the side of safety and requested our pediatrician to give him rabies pre-exposure shots.
Llew has displayed the same affinity that I have where most animals warm up to me easily. Most notably with his uncle’s cat who supposedly bites and scratches. Llew was able to hug and cuddle him, even feed the cat from his hand. I’m hoping the same for Kian.
I’ll be writing about this more extensively later on. Right now I suppose I’m just gathering my thoughts in preparation for a full article. I’ll share it here once it’s gone to print.