b Papa Dog's Blog: Baby Dog Meets Kittycat

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Baby Dog Meets Kittycat

Baby Dog’s first day in daycare went just fine. She cried when Mama Dog dropped her off, but that’s to be expected. Soon she was playing and having a good time. The daycare ladies pronounced her “very independent,” meaning I guess that she’s happy entertaining herself. That reminds me of me as a child. For now it’s good, but I hope she doesn’t turn grow to be as shy and self-absorbed as I was within a few years of her age.

Halmonie wanted to take us out to dinner to celebrate the successful first day. The choices were Cha’am (paul, you had dinner with us there once) and Shen Hua. Since baby seating at Cha’am is so impractical, I cast the deciding vote for Shen Hua, greatly pleasing Halmonie (who’s not too keen on Thai).

We wanted to beat the dinner rush as much as possible, so we resolved to leave immediately. Of course leaving “immediately” with a small child translates into what I would otherwise call leaving “in a while, when we get around to it.” Baby Dog was actually ready to go, but there’s all manner of bustling and packing that goes on before we depart – I’m really not clear on what all of it is – so we had a little time to kill. I took her outside for a look around the immediate environs, and I spotted a cat sprawled on the sidewalk in the next block. “Look, a kittycat!” I said to Baby Dog, who squinted uncertainly in the direction I was pointing. The problem with real animals is that they don’t tend to look much like their children’s book representations, especially from a distance. I decided to give her a closer look, and strolled across the street.

I have certain methods of approaching a strange cat, mainly involving saying “pss pss pss” (which would be “Puss Puss Puss” abbreviated) and “kitty kitty kitty (self-explanatory), waggling my fingers, and trying in general to approach slowly and from a low altitude. Knowing that Mama Dog would be out and ready to go at any moment, I couldn’t really approach that slowly, and with Baby Dog in my arms I couldn’t really get down comfortably to a low altitude, but I still managed to transfix the cat, drawing its attention without causing it to bolt. All the while, I kept reminding Baby Dog that we were now looking at an actual live kittycat, but she still seemed unconvinced.

When we were close enough, I squatted down and waggled my fingers and the cat came over for a sniff. It touched its nose to my index finger. “See?” I said to Baby Dog, “it’s a kittycat.” The cat stretched up on its hind legs and rubbed its face against my hand. “Ufff,” Baby Dog said tentatively. That's her dog bark sound. “No, not a doggy,” I said. “It’s a kittycat.” All at once, a light clicked on behind her eyes and she smiled. “MAO!” she bellowed, and the terrified cat streaked away down the street. “That’s right,” I told her. “Kittycat says ‘meow.’” She’s still yet to hear one say that. But now I think she knows what the real deal looks like.


Blogger Judy said...

What a wonderful story! I love it!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Cha'am the place where we talked DNA?

paul Anonymous

8:02 PM  

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