Okay. So. We have Stinkerbelle. And we have 4 cats. Nothing should surprise me, right?
And yet? It does. Regularly.
Stinkerbelle loves her kitties. LOVESLOVESLOVES her kitties. LOVES! THEM! So much so that her first REAL word (not counting the “mama” and “dada” business because, let’s face it, EVERY child does that and it is mostly indiscriminate), based on her babbling right now will be “kitty” or “Duncan” (who is her kitty). Right now she is SO close on “kitty” but it comes out “didididididdydidididdddy”.
And the cats, they tolerate her surprisingly well, considering she barrels across the floor at them in joyous full shriek and pokes them and pulls out tufts of fur and stuff. Perhaps they sense it is all done in love. Or something.
So anyway, That Baby loves her kitties.
Last weekend was Donkey Day at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada. You may recall that we went last year, and we have a fondness for the donkeys. We think it’s a great fundraiser for a great cause, not to mention a really nice day out. So we decided that this year we would go again, and introduce Stinkerbelle to the donkeys and hopefully begin a nice yearly tradition for our family.
We knew we would not be able to be long, what with That Baby having the attention span of a soap dish or a gnat or whatever at this age, and it was also a hot day. So we figured we would go for maybe half an hour or an hour and just have a nice visit.
We pulled into a parking space, loaded Stinkerbelle into her SuperStroller, and started up the lane toward the paddocks. There was a great turnout, which is always nice, with booths and tents and whatnot. But us? We go for the donkeys. (Specifically, we go so that I can pet and brush the donkeys. Let’s be honest.) So we made a beeline for the paddocks — one for mules, the other for donkeys.
And of course, they were all there in their gorgeous, aloof glory. We got to the fence, and got Stinkerbelle up out of the stroller so she could pet the lovely little mules by the fence. We picked her up, and turned to lean over the fence to the mules.
And then it began, like a siren or a rock concert or some other loud thing that is very loud.
Stinkerbelle was bellowing for all she was worth at the mules. “DIDDIDDIDDDDYDIDDIDDIDDDIDIDIDDYDIDDDDY!” Very LOUDLY, and excitedly.
She was trying to make friends with the kitties. Which were not, alas, kitties. Nor were they DEAF, I would imagine, so they wisely chose instead to ignore the extremely loud small child hollering her greetings to them in full-throated love.
So the donkeys were a hit. Inasmuch as she thought they were really BIG kitties, Stinkerbelle enjoyed the visit to the donkeys. Good thing for them that Donkey Day is just once a year. (Also, good thing for my hearing.)
But That Baby loves her kitties with an equally vociferous and heartfelt love, so she will be fine until next year’s visit. How do I know this? Well, two recent incidents come to mind.
Today, she was in her playroom, playing with her toys and shrieking at a video of (what else) animals while I made a meat stick for dinner in the kitchen. The cats have learned to just ignore her or flee when she comes around, so those who had not fled were in various states of repose.
Now, Opus is old. She can’t get around much anymore, so we have put a comforter out for her to sleep on during the daytime. And she’s as deaf as a post, so she mostly ignores That Baby anyway. But with That Baby, we have had to establish the rule that “That Kitty is NOT for playing with. She is for DECORATION ONLY.” And so That Baby is not allowed to touch that kitty or otherwise terrorize or manhandle her like she does with the others. And she is learning, but she needs reminding from time to time.
I had to remind her a couple times this afternoon. Luckily Bubby mostly slept through it all.
And then I looked up from my cooking to see That Baby, leaning down over That Kitty, TRYING TO LICK HER.
ACK. Poised on the brink of getting a fuzzy mouthful of old kitty.
You never saw a woman move so fast. There was no way that was going to end well for either party.
I relocated Stinkerbelle and went back to my work.
I looked up again.
Apparently, she had learned she was NOT to lick That Kitty. Which might explain, a little bit, why there were great, wet, drooly wads of Cinnamon fur on her cheek and chin.
She is fine. Cinnamon is hiding and won’t come out. And Bubby is shouting at me, trying to convince me that she is traumatized by the Great Licking Child of ’09 in a ploy for food.
That Baby and kitties. Is it too late to get her interested in, say, Chia pets instead?