Silver and Charlotte.
February 05, 2014

After her helmet-breaking incident a couple months ago, Charlotte gave up her bike and her scooter for two weeks.  The only way I was able to convince her to give wheeled objects a whirl again was to let her pick out her replacement helmet by herself.

She picked a cat helmet.

As soon as we were home from the store, she eagerly snapped it on and hopped on her bike and told me we needed to show her grandparents.

“Grandpa!” she said when she saw my dad.  “Grandpa!  If I just had a tail and fur and four legs and whiskers and pointy ears and claws and sharp teeth, I WOULD BE JUST LIKE A CAT!”

It was adorable, but I digress.  The really awesome part of the story turns out to have nothing to do with my parents and everything to do with their neighbor’s cat.

To understand this, I have to backtrack a little and explain something: my dad was never a cat person.  NEVER.  I’m pretty sure that he spent my childhood hating cats.  But one day about five years ago, a scrawny starving little tomcat showed up on my parents’ porch and changed everything.

My dad ignored him, of course, but the tomcat turned up the next day too.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.  Until finally my father picked up a small bag of cat food at the pet store and put it out on the porch for him.

That scrawny little feline was Cat.  When my dad put out the food for him that night, I think he expected that he would feed Cat and Cat would leave, but that’s not how it went.  He fed Cat and Cat stayed.  In fact, he fed Cat and Cat became a bit of a stalker.  When my dad’s alarm clock went off in the morning, Cat would immediately start yowling outside of his bedroom window.  And Cat would wait on the steps for my father to come home from work at night.  It got to the point where Dad would avoid turning lights on in the evening because if Cat knew he was up, he would start yowling for attention – and Dad was worried that coyotes would get him.

After Cat came Cat Two.  Then Little Cat.  And Cat Four.  And Target.  And Cat’s Girlfriend.  And Boomerang.

At one point, there was a mystery cat that only came by to eat cat food at night.  My dad called him Cat Five.  One night he heard Cat Five on the porch, so he carefully peeked out to see what he looked like.

Cat Five was a skunk.

The cat food started being picked up at night.

Even so, ever since Cat first trained my father to put food out in the morning, cats have flocked to my parents’ yard.  And around the same time that Charlotte crashed on her scooter, a small grey kitten joined the ranks.

After a few days the people across the street from my parents adopted him and named him Silver, but the small grey kitten still spends hours and hours roaming through my parents’ yard.

When Charlotte got her new cat helmet, she went everywhere with it pretending to be a cat.  She took to calling me “Momma Cat” and referring to herself as “Baby Cat.”  She even started greeting neighbors with a meow instead of a hello.  (Surprisingly, most people meowed right back.)  (My neighbors kick ass, that’s all I have to say about that.)

So when Silver turned up in her grandparents’ yard, Charlotte thought it was only fitting that she don her cat helmet and meow at him too.

HOLY AWESOMESAUCE, world, if you want to see something hilarious, do this.  Go put on a cat helmet with gigantic green eyes, spin suddenly around so that you come face-to-face with a tiny feeble little unsuspecting kitten, and release the most terrifying meow you can muster.

It.  Was.  Epic.

And that is why Silver will never ever trust a little girl again for as long as he lives, the end.

(Also, from a distance, with the sun behind her, it makes her look like Batman.  Which is pretty cool.)

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  1. By on February 05, 2014

    “Cat 5 was a skunk.“  That literally made me laugh out loud.

      My oldest saw a skit called “New York Cats” on Sesame Street one day. When his dad came home, they had to play cat. New York cats are loud and pushy. He then decided they needed to play “yarn balls”, pushing around imaginary balls of yarn. For years we called him AndyCat and sometimes they still call me MomCat. MEOW!  Long live the cats!

  2. By Kimberly on February 06, 2014

    Ok, so I’m a tad stunned this morning while reading this! First, my three year old (also an energetic, social Charlotte) got the same helmet for Christmas. For the past two weeks, she has been on a cat kick as well. She is baby cat, I’m mama cat and my dear husband is Poppi dog :| She crawls on the floor, begs us to feed her fish and give her fishy treats, randomly mews and rubs her back against the wall while purring. It has been interesting! The past few nights she has even used it as an excuse to not fall asleep - “ Mama cat, I need to take my pajamas off because cats don’t wear clothes silly” or “ Mama cat, I can’t fall asleep because cats need to sleep in round beds” - to which I quickly responded, “well Opa’s cats sleep outside in the woods”. Mama cats have to have their wits about them you see!

  3. By on February 07, 2014

    This cracked me up.  Ada is 3 now and has been in a fox phase lately (no idea why) so she is baby fox and I am Momma fox.  When she wants time to herself without sharing lap space with little brother she reminds me that baby foxes have to drink milk and that Momma fox has to provide the milk.  I end up feeding her a sippy cup of milk in my lap while she makes sounds she believes are baby fox sounds. lol.  When she is in these moods she only responds to “Baby fox” and if I get it wrong she will remind me that she is not Ada, she is Baby Fox.

  4. By on February 08, 2014

    Hi Sarah,
    I have read your blog for quite sometime now and have two girls of my own (almost 4 and almost 10 months) and really enjoy your writing and outlook on life and child rearing, especially nursing and tandem nursing (are you still doing it?)

    The reason I am writing it because something is driving me mad!  I am sure it was on this blog I read a great summary of parenting.  Basically, we have to teach our children two things 1) they are special 2)they are no more special than anyone else.

    Did you mention that here?  Did you talk about a book it came from?  I am very interested and want to know more.  Thanks so much,

  5. By Sarah Christensen on February 10, 2014

    Lindsay, thanks for saying hi!  I sent you an e-mail, but the long and short of it is that I don’t think that you found that summary on my blog.  I can remember one or two lively conversations in the comment fields that might have covered that topic, but I’ve only recently begun to come out of the hyper-my-children-are-precious-snowflakes phase of parenting and come around to this parenting perspective, so I don’t think I’ve written about that transition yet.

  6. By on February 20, 2014

    Hey Sarah!

    I was just flipping through you pintrest and saw that Charlotte has a play house!  That sounds so awesome.  Could you share pics with us, pretty please?

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