I don’t believe for a moment I’m the first person to pick up on this, but it still surprises me that more people (and by that I mean fellow parents) haven’t seen it. Forget this Mars and Venus stuff, as the parent of a boy and a girl I am certain that I have human versions of a dog and a cat! I can’t remember when/where I first saw this, but it’s an analogy I have subsequently shared with a range of friends – some of whom also have one of each! No one has dared disagree….. many see it too!
Our daughter (the cat) becomes more feline in her behavior with each passing day. No longer the playful kitten, she is increasingly aware of herself, preening and posing at every opportunity (I daren’t go to the gallery on my phone anymore, such is the quantity of humorous ‘selfies’ she has taken to amuse me!) Handheld mirrors, once found in the same place in the house have migrated to her room. Hugs, once given at the drop of a hat, are now on her terms and in her way. Watching girls of her age together you get a sense they are sizing each other up – assessing everything from clothes/footwear, to their words and associated intonation. Changes in hormone levels – prone to switch at any given moment – mean that the beautiful, purring, contented feline can quickly turn to aggravated, defensive protector of all she owns in a heartbeat, lashing out at anything in her way.
On the other hand, our son (the dog) is the quintessential canine at the moment. Just leaving puppy stage, he is so laid back at times it drives us mad. ‘Did I forget my school jumper again? Oh well, I’ll do without it…’ He is so happy to see me that you’d think I’d been gone a week when I get home from work and I can’t leave the house in the mornings without the standard routine of cheerio’s and hugs. He still wants to give both of us cuddles if we’re watching TV together, although dad is fast becoming a regular sparring partner, often started with the daftest of comments or most casual of looks between each other. Watching him interact with his pack, you see several boys vying to be best goalie, or fastest runner or bravest (AKA nuttiest) skateboarder. But these games always end with drinks and biscuits and everyone is still friends. Totally unlike the cats… who would fall out over the smallest things… if they mentioned the wrong pop star at the wrong time… or looked at one another in the wrong way.
But you know what, they are my cat and dog and I love them as only a lioness could. Chiding them when required and prepared to kill (perhaps not literally), if required, to keep them safe. So I can say what I like about them, because they are mine, but if anyone else dares to criticise, then they will have the full might of my roar to contend with!
It would be great to hear how you see the children in your life… do you have cats and dogs too, or do you have a house of bouncing Tiggers or dopey Eeyores?!