My daughter can be a bit scary. She’s loud, stubborn and unreasonable. (Any similarity to my wife is purely coincidental). Parents need to be able to look on the bright side, though. We have now had two woman Prime Ministers. Both a bit scary. Pity that statistically it seems a woman has to be scary to achieve high office in our country, but at least it shows my daughter could utilise her personality to her advantage.
Another bright side is that my daughter has another side to her personality. A rather different side. She is also a cat.
“Meow.” My daughter says to me when she opens her eyes in the morning. Sometimes before she opens her eyes. I wonder whether, at some point in our family history, our human genes were somehow intermingled with feline genes. Challenges evolutionary theory, admittedly, but have you got a better explanation? Whatever the cause, turns out it’s a very good thing. She’s a lot nicer when she’s being a cat. I admit, I don’t discourage it.
“What a beautiful cat.” I say. “What lovely soft fur.” She loves being stroked. She sticks her tongue out a little as if she’s panting, a little pet confusion there, she’s keen on dogs too. “Ah. Lovely cat.”
When she’s deep in character, she likes to go around on all fours and eat from your hand, which can complicate diner. Drinking can also be messy. But it’s all worth it, because the cat never gets angry, never shouts, never demands. Her meow might get a bit louder, but that’s it.
Back in human mode, my daughter is having a typical melt down. About ice cream. In the street. Within moments she’s screeching and hurling herself to the ground. Passers by try very hard not to look at us.
Then I have a crazy idea.
“What a beautiful cat.” I say.
Suddenly the screeching stops. She gazes at me oddly, then she sticks her tongue out slightly and says. “Meow.”
“Oh, what a beautiful cat.” I say, amazed my idea worked. “What beautiful fur you have. Can I stroke your beautiful fur?”
“Yeees.” She says in her squeaky cat voice. Crisis over. I am amazing.
I know. This may be… questionable parenting. If she somehow became stuck in her cat identity, then I would have some explaining to do. On the other hand though, wouldn’t it be nice if, when my daughter becomes Prime Minister, instead of being scary on the news, she occasionally just sticks her tongue out a little and says, “Meow.”