Naturally I got a kitten.
Scout was 8 months old when I adopted him from my sister's in-law's farm. He was adorable until he had an identity crisis and thought he was a puppy. Teeth marks appeared on my leather shoes. Gaping holes appeared in the few non-"grandma" sweaters I owned. My sister (a vet tech and animal lover) suggested Scout needed a friend.
Twilight's picture appeared in the newspaper a few days later. I adopted her from the local shelter and didn't care that she was temperamental and hissed at me the whole time I was at the shelter to meet her. She hid under the bed for a few days but finally adjusted to life with me and her new brother.
Bear entered the picture while I was dating my husband. The short story is that he was abandoned at my sister's vet clinic the day he was born. He was one month old when I brought him home. He's the baby and acts like the little brother.
I never intended on being a cat lady, but here I am. Jeff and I don't have human kids yet, but we feel like we have a house full of kids with these guys running around. We have family and quite a few friends with human toddlers - and we constantly compare their lives with toddlers to our lives with cats.
So, for your enjoyment, here's my list of things we say to our cats that could also be said to a toddler:
1. Don't eat that!
Typically said in reference to a "kitty-weed" - our home's version of a tumble weed - a fluffy wad of loose cat hair blowing freely on the floor. But also said in reference to regurgitated food, spilled chocolate milk, and various items retrieved from the garbage.
2. Get down!
Off the coffee table, kitchen counter, dining room table, bedside table, desk full of papers...
3. No (or the related, Nonononono!)
Usually as I'm awakened from sleep to the musical sounds of a cat hacking something up on the foot of the bed and shoving them onto the hardwood floor as quickly as possible.
4. Stop playing with your poop.
Our boy cats particularly enjoyed utilizing poop as toys to bat around. What is it with boys and poop?
5. Bear! (Hey! also works)
The equivalent in our house of using a first and middle name together to indicate, "Oh you are in so much trouble."
6. Shhhh.... You'll wake up your dad.
Why is it that the loudest meowing happens when someone is sleeping just on the other side of the door?
7. You're okay.
Because there's really not a reason to meow at me when I'm already petting you.
8. It's not supper time yet.
You can wait another half hour. I won't let you starve.
9. I love you.
Typically accompanied by some serious snuggles. Because we do love them dearly!
10. Come on!
Used in an encouraging (and slightly hurrying along) tone to get the cat to follow me. Sometimes said in a frustrated tone when you step on a fresh hairball in a dark hallway.
11. How are you still alive?
A rhetorical question as you ponder the many "poisonous" plants that have been consumed, the head-first falls off the stairs, the chocolate bars that were eaten, the times you didn't know she was buried in the blanket and you accidentally sat on her. I guess cats really do have nine lives...
12. This is why we can't have nice things.
The shattered mirror (broken by two black cats). The fake leather that never stood a chance against kitty claws. The pilled comforter. Indescribable amounts of black cat hair everywhere, all the time. The beloved decorative item fallen prey to the swipe of a kitty tail. All casualties for the sake of loving these crazy critters.
Sometimes there are just no words. Like the food that was spit up right in front of the door you need to walk through. Or the bag of delicious chips you forgot to put away and he had no trouble finding and chewing a hole through (this also applies to anything chocolate). Or the garbage strewn all over the kitchen floor - even though the garbage can was supposed to be "Bear proof". Or the clean laundry you didn't get around to folding yet being dragged all over the house, supposedly because he missed you.
We love our cats dearly. We love the toddlers in our life dearly. As frustrating as they can be, we couldn't, and wouldn't want to, live without them!