Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pet Rivalry

I have a younger sister so I'm familiar with the realm of sibling rivalry.
Until I had kids of my own, I had not been familiar with pet rivalry.
Both my daughter and my son have gone through this stage. Currently, my son is still envious of any attention I give our two cats.
The cats who were already extremely friendly became more so after the birth of my daughter and son.

I first noticed pet envy when my daughter was about 6 months old. Any time one of my tabbies sat in my lap, she would try and push them off!
Now my son tries to push the cats off of my lap too. He even grunts and pokes at the cats if I'm petting them.
Luckily, my tabbies have a sense of little ones and either take the torment or run off. My daughter has since moved on from pet rivalry to little brother rivalry. She's no longer jealous of the cats and loves to snuggle with them. But, if my daughter gets too rough with the cats now, they'll let her know about it. It's like the cats know she should be old enough to know better.

Aedan's still young enough in the eyes of the cats to tackle them-though I'm trying to teach him gentle as I run his hand across the cats' backs.
We'll see how long this stage lasts for him...or his focus switches to his older sister...


TL said...

My Aunt and Godfather are usually the ones with the family pets. Oddly enough, in our family, it's the pets that were jealous of the people.

The family rottie would sit on your feet, or wedge himself between you and who HE wanted to cuddle next to on the couch. And if that didn't work - he'd fart on you!

All told, I guess pets know they are indeed part of the family.

Kelley said...

Yes, I agree-my cats definitely know they're part of the family.

The snake however-not so sure about her. She's pretty much a loner!