I’m going to start this post with a confession. This has been the toughest prompts that I’ve had to tackle. But then again, it could have been because of the sheer randomness (or eerie similarity) of the two “objects” that I captured. So one lovely morning, armed with my cellphone, I walked out of my flat and into the open world. The objective was simple - capture the first thing that I saw. Since I stay in a gated community, most of the things I’d see if I walked out of my flat would be uninteresting things like buildings, buildings and more buildings. So instead I decided to capture the first thing that I walked out of the building.
The optimist in me was secretly hoping that it’s be something nice like green grass or beautiful flowers. So you can imagine discontent when the first thing I spotted was a cat preening itself right at the entrance to our building. Now by the time I got my state-of-the-art smartphone to unlock itself and get the camera ready, all I was left with was a few pieces of cat whiskers and fur. The cat was no where to be found. So instead here’s a picture of a similar cat from the internet. We’ll have to make do with that for now.
Though not extremely fond of cats, I was relatively upbeat. After all, I could write about cats. Grinning happily, I took the lift back to my flat. The wife and son were fast asleep when I’d departed for my morning photographic endeavour. As I opened the door, I looked downstairs and saw our door mat on which the word “Welcome” was neatly engraved. "That’s the first thing I saw. The next thing I see better be something I can write about” I thought to myself as I shut the door behind me.
Suddenly I saw a blur of white rushing towards me. I looked down and saw my son hugging my right leg tightly, still dressed in his fancy white pyjamas. “Great” I thought again. “I can definitely write about my little one”.
And then the actual prompt dawns on me. I was meant to link these two random objects together. “This could get ugly” I thought to myself, as I captured my son’s photo. After almost a whole day’s pondering over how I could potentially weave a post that included a cat and my lovely son with the same ink, I had come up with zilch. That’s when my wife stepped in. And opened up my world to the uncanny similarities between the cats and young kids, especially toddlers. So with that in mind, and lots of gratitude to my lovely wife, here are a few apparent ones.
Demand & cuddles: This one’s so obvious that I am wondering myself why I hadn’t noticed this before. Probably because I don’t own a cat. But both kids and cats demand their cuddles. And sometimes a tummy rub too. Forget kids, even I need a tummy rub too somedays, but the wife refuses. Ok, that’s another blog post. Both cats and toddlers love to be cuddled, petted and tickled under the chin. They know how to get your attention when they want it, and simply refuse to wait for it. At the same time, they’re rarely always in the mood for cuddles. Cuddles are to be given at their convenience and not the other way around.
They are forever curious and exploring Have you ever seen pictures of “that cat who stuck its head down the toilet” or “kid who got his head got stuck in the trashcan” floating about on the internet? Well believe it. I’ve seen it both happen. Both of them are known to be inherently curious and you often find themselves in rather sticky situations because of this. They love to investigate anything and everything.
Following you Another similarity between these sly felines and the little munchkins are they love to follow you around. Though not always, this phrase holds good most especially when you need to use the bathroom. Regardless of whatever you may be doing, they will attempt to come in. If you, by some fortunate timing, manage to shut the door, you will never escape the wailing and the thumping/ scratching against the door. Sometimes it almost makes you feel like you’re a rockstar and they are your groupies.
The case of the missing objects If something small is mysteriously missing, there’s a very good chance that one of them probably took it. Of course asking them isn’t going to really yield much in way of information. The solution - check their mouth first. You’ll probably find it in there.
Super-regenerative nails (or claws) I’m not sure if it’s something they eat or if it’s some sort of hormonal activity going on, but a toddler’s nails seem to grow at alarming rates. And the worrying thing is that they’re often not afraid to use it, just like cats.
Toys Both toddlers and cats have their favourite toys and they slobber all over it. Further more all their toys make their presence felt everywhere. Talking about which, you can buy them all the expensive gifts you want, but they’ll find something as simple as a cardboard box more interesting. And yes strings, cat’s love to chase them; toddlers love to put them in their mouth.
Food Both cats and toddlers are really picky about what they eat. Even if you make or give them something they’ve gulped down on previous occasions, there are days when they sniff/look at the plate and then glance back at you as if to say “Really? That’s it?”. Talking about food, here’s another similarity. Both of them need to know what is it that you’re eating that they are not. And very often, they’ll want it too. Here’s another one. No matter how many times you tell them not to play with their food, they will do it.
Naps Another one of those obvious things that you wonder why you never noticed. Both of them can be so active at one point and can fall asleep suddenly and in the oddest of places. Ironically in spite of probably being the smallest living beings at home, they take up the most space in bed.
Climbers If there is anything that can be climbed onto in your house, both your cat and toddler will have climbed then. Be it the chair, the sofa, the counter or even the dining table.
Your kind of people And here’s the final one. People who don’t have them (both young kids or cats) look at you in a very different way. It takes a fellow cat-person or a fellow parent to understand the trials and tribulations of having either one of them (or in some case (Bless them!) both of these)
Come to think of it, now that I have a toddler already, maybe it is time to get a dog.
Oh, and a disclaimer : No cats or toddlers were harmed for or during writing of this post.