An ironclad rule in our house is that the cats aren’t allowed in the master bedroom for thirty minutes after they’ve eaten. Not that they don’t try. Lakota was looking at me beseechingly & crying mournfully from the top step – “Let me in! Oh please please please let my in! My happiness depends on it!”
Well, it had been about 25 minutes & he is a very responsible cat who has shown himself steadfast in using the litter box instead of other creative spots. So, I bent. Slightly.
I went up the steps & opened the door, ever so slightly – enough to be push in-able by a determined cat, but not open enough for him to just saunter in. Lakota looked at the door & he looked at me. And continued his cries. Stock still. I pushed the door open a shade more. The beseeching wails continued.
“Lakota, I’ve done my bit – the rest is up to you.” He was literally unmoved by my explanation.
So, I turned & went downstairs. As soon as I did, that sweet kitty pushed open the door & whisked into the kitties’ holy of holies.
As I expected.
John & I have very different attitudes toward our cats. He bends over backwards for them, I’m the one who expects some degree of independence. Sky would still be spending all his time in our room if I hadn’t taken him down to the kitchen/dining room to eat with the rest of the Haven Clan.
I grew up with parents who were at our beck & call. To them, that’s what parents did BECAUSE it was never done for either of them by surviving parents. They based their parenting on something neither had experienced & wished they had.
The problem with it was that unless we had back bone, a desire for some semblance of independence, there was little incentive to act like adults. With my older sibs, the door was always opened for them. Would have been for me, too, if Dad hadn’t died when I was in college & my oldest brother hadn’t done a wretched job of stewarding Dad’s inheritance. Even another brother, a paragon of independence, knew that he could flit away for long stays abroad & there would be a job waiting for him at Lockhart Lumber.
I like to think I would have opted for being independent – will never know.
As a wife, friend & mother of cats, I know nurturing independence is super important. Extra so with little kids, who are just learning to be independent, and olders elders ancients, who too often are treated like they’ve lost it when the only challenge might be it takes them a bit longer to do what once came with ease – in most cases, they are still capable of doing them.
Lakota would have been perfectly happy for me to open the door for him, but once I turned tail & went downstairs, he functioned just fine. There’s a lesson in there for us all.