Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don't you worry about: Bonding

So Ping came running at me this morning, shouting something about me being a monster and trying to kill me with a plastic sword.  It was about this time when I remembered back to earlier in the adoption process, when people would ask "Are you sure you will feel the same about your new child as your biological ones?"
She was in the process of stabbing me here... cute eh?
Gotta kill the monster she yells while plunging the
play sword into my metaphorical father's heart
... flash back to a simpler place in time...
Dad:  Hey, kids, c'mon down stairs - I've got something to show you!  Now you boys are going to have to take care of the cat... feed him, pet him, play with him.
Much Younger Me:  WOW!  A cat!  Oh he is so cute!

And that was probably the last time that "cat" was ever called cute.  That cat would grow up to me a small mountain lion.  Living in Northern Manitoba, that cat had to contend with other cats, dogs, raccoon and bear just to get some food.  The quickly turned into the cat that everyone was scared of.  During one particular Friday night, three of my friends left bleeding from the head, ear and arms.  The cat had pee'd in someones shoe (normally a dog thing), and generally liked to stalk young children.  At one point, I remember seeing my youngest brother (who was just learning to walk) stagger through the living room (which apparently he is doing again, although now staggering for different reasons) with the "cat" crawling through the shag carpeting on his belly like a lion through the tall grass of the Serengeti.  All at once, the cat pounced!  Raced towards my little brother and leapt into the air with the full intention of taking down his prey.  At the last moment, the claws retracted, and he landed with a thump just behind my little brother, looking up at him with a look on his face as if to say "I could have eaten you just now.  Next time.  Next time."... and slowly walked away.

Now, I have a cat of my own.  Stupid cat.  He has tried to kill me several times.  Oh sure, there is the normal "wedging between your feet while you are walking down the stairs" stunt that many cats pull... I'm not talking about that.  No sir.  I'm talking pre-mediated, cunning plans to take me down.

A while ago, the cat "innocently" fell though part of our roof.  No big deal right?  Well, I'm out there trying to fix this silly roof panel that fell out.  What I could not understand, is that this is a big piece of steel paneling... how did my little 4 pound cat manage to cause it to fall off the roof?  I don't understand.  There were wind storms, and snow storms, and all sorts of forces of nature attempting to break this particular panel... but they all failed.  The cat though... he got it down.  As I'm standing awkwardly on the top of our ladder, trying to fix this 6 foot long piece of metal roofing, the children run out!  The wife has the idea that the kids should see me trying to fix stuff.  Why she wants the children to be around me while I'm swearing under my breath and frustrated beyond all reason is well beyond my understanding, but there you have it, she thinks its a good idea.  With the gaggle of children all crowded right at the base of the ladder chattering away with the typical "Whatcha doing Dad?  Why do you look angry Dad?  Did you fix it yet?  Mom said she could fix it by now.  Are you swearing Daddy?", the back piece starts to fall... right on top of the children.  Now, normally children should scatter when something big and heavy is going to fall on them.  Not my kids though.  No sir!  They all simply point up at the big heavy falling thing and say "Dad, that part is falling."  I reach around and catch the piece of metal falling, and stop it from lopping off one of the children's head, "damaging my rotator cup" in the process.  As I climb off the ladder, clutching my shoulder trying to figure out what happened... I see my cat sitting in the doorway... looking at me with an all too familiar look, as if to say "I could have killed you just now.  Next time.  Next time."

So, why all the ramblings of cats who have tried to kill me over the years?

Well, to simply say... if I could love and bond with those cats, and see all the tears shed when they passed away, then I am pretty confident that I can love and bond with any adopted child.  Oh, and it is not like biological children always endear themselves to your heart either... sometimes kids can be hard to love*.  But then that helps make the precious moments so much more precious... like when they are sleeping... they always look sweet and innocent when they are sleeping.

See?  Innocent and sweet looking.  Sleeping in the crib in the
hotel the 1st night together.  Who knew if a few short months
she would be calling me a monster and attacking me with a
sword and Irish Drum as a shield.

* == Not too often though.  Normally, they are just adorable when they are trying to be difficult.


  1. Man, love the Cat stories you reminded me of "The Mean Kitty Song" on YouTube. To the base of your message, yes I think we have forgotten with all the media hype that LOVE should be a commitment first and then the feelings will follow.

  2. My parents were adopted by an insane (but extremely intelligent) cat just after my sister's referral came through... some of what you wrote makes me wonder if we don't have your "mountain lion" in another of his 9 lives.

    Meanwhile, none of us can imagine life without the Pipsqueak, and we all absolutely melt when we get a little cuddle, willingly make absolute fools of ourselves to get a giggle, lose months of lifespan every time she falls, and have willingly, totally rearranged almost every aspect of life & home to make sure she's happy & healthy. Whenever any of us get a "happy, happy!" from her during a hug, all exhaustion, sadness, and worry melts away for a few moments... Just as my parents experienced (and still do, it seems ) with my sister and me.

    Genetics are a side effect of being a family... not the other way 'round. (Although the Pipsqueak's Grandpa talks about "genetics through osmosis" whenever she engages in exactly the same behaviors her mommy did at the same age...)