Friday, April 13, 2007

Foto Challenge: A Girl and Her Cat

I adopted sibling cats, Opal and Pearl, about a year before Doodle came home. Before Doodle entered our home, Opal was skittish when people came to visit. After Doodle joined the family, Opal assumed the role of protector. If someone came to visit, she would stay glued by Doodle's side. When I rushed to comfort a crying baby Doodle in the middle of the night, Opal was always in the hallway outside Doodle's room, ready to give me the "what took you so long" look. She let Doodle pull her ears and tail. Nowadays, she loves to listen to Doodle play the piano and to cuddle with Doodle at bedtime. Doodle, quite simply, is Opal's person.

Doodle feels just as strongly about Opal. When she was 9 months old, Doodle's first word was "ke ca" for "kitty cat." Her second word was "mama." Sometimes I think I'm still in 2nd place behind the cat. Another one of Doodle's early words was "gentle" because I spent so much time modeling gentle petting behavior. Once when Doodle was about 4, Opal somehow got outside and didn't come back for hours. Doodle was beside herself with worry.

Pearl and Tootle do not have a similar relationship. Pearl is the kind of cat who only loves you because you provide the food. Opal is also Tootle's protector, but to a far lesser extent. This doesn't bother Tootle; she really doesn't pay much attention to the cats. However, her behavior around cats has improved 100 percent from what I witnessed when we were in Guangzhou before coming home. Tootle, who had just turned 3, kicked a store cat in one of the shops; it's the most aggressively I have ever seen her behave. I apologized profusely and then started to fret about how she would treat our cats. Fortunately, she has never abused either of them and does occasionally pet them.

To see more pet photos, go to

2 comments: said...

LOVE the stethoscope check up shot. I am an RN and even I wasn't doing anything that seriously "helpful" at your daughters age :o)

LadyBug Journals said...

What a great slide show.