Thursday, December 23, 2010

Your Animal Kingdom

Dear Delilah,

Up until shortly before you were born, our tiny little house was a zoo. The humans, your father and I, were far outnumbered by the critters. We had our two big dogs; Sadie and Anka, and our 4 cats; Nala, Rowdy, Cana, and Doxy. It was a mad house. There was always someone needing to be fed, or go outside, or scratching the furniture, or coughing up a hairball, or getting into the garbage can, or getting on top of the fridge and into the goodies stored up there, or otherwise being a pain in the rear.

When we found out that you were on your way into the world, we fretted about what to do. Sadly, fate made part of that decision for us, and we lost Anka just the week before you were born. More happily, we found a wonderful new home for Cana and Doxy, and their new owners regularly update us on how great they are doing and how well they have adjusted to their new surroundings. Cana and Doxy were born of Nala and Rowdy's union, by the way. Remind me to tell you that story. It's a doozy!

When you arrived home, the human to critter ratio was more balanced, and the house was decidedly less chaotic. We weren't sure how our pets would take to having a brand new tiny little human running things, but they all adjusted remarkably well.

In those early days, Rowdy used to love to cuddly up near you like this:

Delilah (8 Weeks Old) and Rowdy 
Now that you're mobile, he mostly stays out of your way. He's got lots of long hair that's fun for your little fingers to grab, so he generally avoids getting within arm's reach of you. Every now and again, he still seeks you out for a quick snuggle or head butt, and one of his favorite places to sleep is on the pile of blankets in your closet.

As soon as we started putting you down on the floor, Sadie started guarding you. If you were having tummy time, or just laying on a blanket on a floor, she'd be right near by keeping watch, like this:

Delilah (6 Months Old) with Sadie
Any time someone would come to the house, Sadie would plant herself between you and the guest. Anyone who wanted to get to you had to go through her first, proving their intentions by showering her with pats on the head and scratches behind the ears. When she was sufficiently convinced that they didn't mean any harm to her baby, she'd let them at you, but maintained a watchful eye.

I have to admit that I was amazed at how taken with you Nala was. At 13 years old, she's the oldest of our pets and the most set in her ways. She is the Queen of the castle around here. Even Sadie submits to her. When she started coming close to you, I supervised intensely, not sure how she'd react to this newcomer on her turf. She was as smitten with you as you were with her. 

Delilah (8 Months Old) with Nala
In the mornings while you and I would lay in bed together for your breast milk breakfast in bed, she would snuggle up on the other side of you. You two have been snuggle buddies almost from the beginning. She has shown endless patience while you learned the meaning of "nice touch", explored her ears, and taste-tested her tail. You have spent so much time snuggling and playing with her that you seem to be convinced that "Nala" means cat, and call Rowdy and any cat that appears in a book "Nala", too.

There is no question that you'll grow up surrounded by pets. You will learn to treat animals properly and with respect. You will learn to always ask first before approaching other animals. It is my hope that you'll come to agree with me that animals are friends, not food. The older you get, the more responsibility you'll take on in helping with the care of our pets.

Delilah (1 Year Old) with Sadie
For now, we're working on the concept that Sadie's bed is her "quiet spot" where she goes "nigh-nigh" and is not to be disturbed. As much as she loves you, just like your daddy and I, she needs a break from you now and again!



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  1. That is so incredibly cute. I love this one so much. :)
    Also, I am super jealous of your snuggle kitty, Nala! My kitty is much more like Rowdy & prefers to stay out of Emmett's way, which makes me sad. He tolerates a bit of patting & the like, but he doesn't snuggle with Emmett. :(

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  3. When I glanced quickly on this post, I thought: “Again mommy will tell how she love her dogs, cats and kids on 10 paragraphs”. However, I was pleasantly surprised that you made it in creative way. Especially I was shocked by your wise decision to give away your cats. Because it would be really crazy to deal with all your “kids”. So, it was an adequate decision it echoes with my last year’s decision to translate my website to other languages.