My daughter is an animal lover. Really.
She just has some interesting ways of showing it.
We're very lucky our dog is as close to stuffed as anyone with a heartbeat can be. The other day Katie climbed onto her back and bounced up and down, holding onto one ear with one hand and knocking her on the head with a stuffed animal with the other.
She thought it was great fun.
The dog didn't even wake up.
We said "Katie, be nice."
So she leaned over and gave the dog a kiss. She also made her stuffed bear give the dog a kiss.
The dog still didn't wake up (she's smarter than we give her credit for. She knows that a reaction will just encourage that kind of behavior to continue).
Besides, it's not all chasing and beating. Katie loves to put lotion on her head (what's left over when she's done licking it off her hands, that is). Of course, she's not so happy when someone else is putting lotion on her head, but that's beside the point.
The last time I caught her with the lotion, I didn't get to her before she pried the lid open with her teeth. By the time I arrived on the scene, she had already squeezed a dollop into her hand and was rubbing it into the dog's head.
Attention is attention, so the dog didn't run, but she had an interesting style of spikes for a few days afterward.
I didn't wash it out. She smelled good.
Katie had a great relationship with the baby-sitter's kitten. Their roles were well-defined. The kitten ran and hid and Katie spent the rest of the day chasing her.
Katie is under the impression that kittens can fly. She picked him up (properly, not by the tail. At least that time), gave him a kiss and a cuddle, then chucked him.
Kittens, like babies, are resilient. Luckily, they do always land on their feet.
The babysitter got out a training chair just in case Katie had the urge upgrade from peeing where you stand to something more purposeful. It's Katie's newest toy. The kitten likes to hide under it and Katie likes to put the kitten inside and push her around while making car noises and throwing in an occasional "beep, beep."
Luckily, for both the kitten and the babysitter, Katie has had no inclination to put it to its proper use.
It's lucky for Katie, too. When the kitten's not around, Katie likes to wear it on her head.
Despite that, the kitten would spend the day following Katie around. I think it was mostly because Katie is so good at sharing. When I went to pick Katie up, I spent some time with the kitten. I think he deserves a cuddle after a day with Katie.
I ran my hand down the hair of his back it was crunchy and spiked. I looked questions at the babysitter.
Evidently, Katie had spaghetti for lunch and in the spirit of friendship, tried to spoon-feed the cat.
Her aim leaves a little to be desired.
All right, it leaves a lot to be desired.
After Katie goes home for the day, the kitten takes a good long nap.
The kitten has been given away and Katie still roams the house yelling "kit-ee, kit-ee."
It was a tough break-up.
Katie's violent affection isn't just limited to pets. She woke her brother from a sound sleep by beating him on the head with a broom handle (and a kiss).
The kiss didn't make him happy.
The broom handle is a garage sale "have to have," and both boys got half of one. Evidently they make good walking sticks and have several other uses that only little imaginations can conjure.
They were told to keep them out of Katie's reach. She reminded them in a way that worked better than an adult's attempt at prevention ever does.
Katie's testing her environment, her boundaries and her limits.
Unfortunately, animals set much looser limits than people. They tolerate just about anything she dishes out and then follow her around adoringly.
I guess that works for adults, too. When she woke me from a sound sleep by trying to shove her bottle in my mouth. I picked her up with a hug.
You judge by the intention, not the act, and she only intended to get a little attention.