Cat's out of the bag / by Susie Lubell


It started with my son asking if he'd ever had a pacifier, to which I answered no. Not for lack of trying though.

Him: Did I ever suck my thumb?
Me: No. You sucked on the ears and tail of your Kitty so I had to cut them off because they smelled horrible.
Him: No you didn't. His ears are right here (pointing to the sides of his face, which kind of stick out, but are not ears).
Me: Those are Kitty's cheeks. His ears were here (pointing to where I cut them off).
Him: (Whimpering) Why did you cut Kitty? (sniff sniff)

Oops. I mean I just figured he knew that I'd cut off Kitty's ears because there were no ears and no tail and it's very clear where they used to be. But suddenly he was grieving for his disfigured kitty. The cat that he'd slept with every day since he was born. Well that's not true since this one was actually the one we got when he was six months old because my husband had lost the original and as a first time parent I was certain that kitty was an integral part of our sleep system and I was not willing to forgo another second of sleep because we didn't have the damn cat. The point is this is a very well loved kitty. But the ears and tail had to go. They were biohazard.

So then he demanded a new kitty. He has this thing with everything being just right. He doesn't want unwanted food on the side of his plate; he wants it off. Or to keep his empty juice box next to him in the car. He wants it in the front with me so he doesn't have to see it. Used goods. And it made me sad that suddenly Kitty was a hideous creature to him. I told him I could sew the ears back on but he wanted a new one because he'd be able to see the white thread. Brother.

But I found some mustard color thread and sewed back one ear good as new. Which I might add was no simple task since that ear spot was all full of thick seams and such. He was pleased. So was Kitty. But when I looked for the second ear to sew back, it appears to have gone missing. Which was a big problem tonight at bed time. He was very unhappy to sleep with a one-eared cat. Very unhappy indeed. He was sobbing about it. He wanted me to take off the ear I'd already sewn on. When pigs fly kiddo. I worked hard on that ear and there was no chance I was taking apart all of my work. I just let him cry and cry until finally he quieted down. I almost clocked his ear but I kept it together. I was torn between wanting him to feel some empathy toward the one-eared cat and just wanting him to go to bed. I opted for the latter and spared him the lecture. I find that the less I talk the better. But when will he learn to love thy one-eared neighbor?

I am so screwed if I can't find that other cat ear by tomorrow.