fine line between love and scary

We have two cats. One of them is super friendly and eats up attention of any kind. So we have to keep an eye on him because he doesn't think to do obvious things like run away. 

Along with this, my toddler has hit that age where he occassionally says and does things that make me raise my eyebrows.

Not in a curious "well that certainly is peculiar" raised eyebrow way. More of a "holy crap, my child is like Dexter" total shock way. Which is immediately followed by intense worry of what I did wrong that turned him into a budding sociopath.  

Last week it went like this:

He notices kitty. 



He communicates his feelings.

He communicates them harder.Fineline3

I use the word that every parent with a pet knows well. 

Then things get weird.

So I jump in.

The cat, meanwhile, is still purring as I pry off the toddler boa constrictor.    

Do your kids ever dance that fine line between love and, um, scary? Or love too much?

This entry was posted in anxiety, crappy pictures, parenting, pets, toddlers. Bookmark the permalink.

165 Responses to fine line between love and scary

  1. YES! I vent – errr post about this on FB to anyone that will listen almost daily. So glad I am not alone in my struggles 😀 aaah my poor dogs

  2. Luna says:

    Yes… I have two dogs and my toddler (almost 2) just loves to “pet” the dogs, but his version of petting involves very hard smacks to their backs (hooray for 75lb beasts of dogs) and walking on their faces while laughing. It’s… a bit frightening sometimes. I fear they’re someday going to eat his face off because of this. lol

  3. Michael says:

    My 2 year old likes to ‘ride’ the kitty. Petting is also favorite, but his petting involves grabbing large handfuls of fur/tail/skin and pulling.

  4. Vickie says:

    Oh yes i am going through this with my 3 year old, we have a Ragdoll cat that he “loves too much”(takes his frustration out on) So glad i am not the only one HAHAHAHA. Oh dear LOL

  5. This one literally made me tear up, I was laughing so hard. =) thank you for brightening our days EVERY day!

  6. Jessica says:

    Ahahahaha….this is my 2 yr old son with our dog. All I can do is tell the dog what a good girl she is as this boy torments her…..

  7. Jen says:

    Of Mice and Men? “Gonna get some rabbits, George”

  8. L says:

    You forgot the chasing part! The chasing part is really scary, too!

  9. Kristin says:

    I hardly ever laugh out loud at something I read, but I laughed at this one. Thanks for the entertainment.

  10. Amanda says:

    Yes, but it’s not kitty, it’s his 5 month old brother. LOL! Stop squeezing your brothers arms and legs! 😉

  11. Tara says:

    LMAO!! We also have to cats one that is like yours and loves attention of any kind and one that will take a swat and anything that moves near it. My kids ages 5, 3 and 2 are the same way with them one min they are so loving towards them makes you belive you are doing a great job and the next min they are in full sqeeze attack mode! My one cat will be purring but meowing this high pitched squshed meow at the same time it is quite comical

  12. Jessica Smith says:

    And again, I die laughing. LOL. This is my “almost” 2 year old, with our cats. Poor things.

  13. JaciDoula says:

    I get “Kitty! KICK!!” a lot :S

  14. Misty says:

    My child seems to pick up our scary language, and it makes me wonder how I sound when I speak to my dog. She’ll just randomly start yelling at the dog “STOP BARKING!!” “COME HERE!!” “DARCY, SIT!!” “THAT’S ENOUGH DARCY!!” Hmmm, maybe I need to integrate some positive discipline into our dog’s life.

  15. Shannon says:

    Just this morning I caught my 2-year-old giggling and trying to strain the cat between our bedroom door and the baby gate. Our cat sounds very similar to yours: loves the baby, to his peril…

  16. Mattie says:

    Yes! My 2 yo likes to try and ride our beagle like a horse. He has now decided to chase our dog with his plastic golf clubs around the house. When he hugs him, it pretty much looks like your child and the cat. (he also does this with his 5 week old brother.)

  17. Koo says:

    Yup, I have a 13 month old who isn’t afraid of anything. At the moment shes learnt where eyes and noses are and shes anything but gentle. My poor cats and dogs are constantly getting their eyes poked or gentle stroking always turns into love overload which generally ends up with someone crying :/

  18. Ashley says:

    My daughter has recently discovered that the sticks used for decoration in the vase are great for poking or hitting the kitty’s… sigh, also, she is 1 and going through a hitting stage, so our one cat that is brave enough to hang around gets a fair share of abuse.

  19. Oliviah says:

    I LOVE how you manage to give your crappy drawings so much expression in their eyes! sooooo funny 🙂

  20. Cynthia Cecil says:

    oh boy yes i am familiar with this lol. i am just writing for the day our ferret (who seems to love the abuse) gets fed up and bites/claws the crap out of my son. I am thankful that the only animals he has exposure to are small ones because i can not worry so much about them seeking revenge and teaching him a well deserved lesson.

  21. Jamie says:

    Oh, the long suffering cats. My 3-year-old his mostly good with them, but one of my cats is a greedy-hey-you-done-with-those-pancakes-mooch, so there have been some showdowns when the kitty tries to encroach on my son’s food. Mostly though, my son pets them (kinda) gently and they shockingly sit there with a look in their eyes that can only be described as a curious mix of affection, terror and uncertainty.

  22. Jackie says:

    Yes, every day with our dog! She’s only about 15 pounds and our little guy is turning 3 next month. He and her are best friends, even though he abuses her daily.

  23. Leia says:

    oh yes. I have two very kind dogs who put up with tons of “abuse” from my 16 month old. I think they only really put up with it because they know he will share his food with them. If it wasn’t for all the table scraps they now get I think they would never forgive me for having a child.

  24. Katie says:

    Easy Lenny. 🙂

  25. Katie says:

    Easy Lenny. 🙂 (of mice and men)

  26. Jodi says:

    My daughter (3) grabs my younger son (12 m) around the neck and squeezes and claims, “I’m just giving him a hug.” Scary!

  27. Lisa says:

    Our 4 yr old son loves to kiss our immensly-patient border collie on the snout. We think our 8 month old is trying to mimic him….but it looks more like he’s grabbing the dog’s jowls & pulling him closer so he can eat the dog’s face.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    My son is so rough with our cat!!!!! Our cat still has his claws but he is a nice cat and it takes alot to tork him off lol and he has never attacked, but he has given the kids a nice swat to say leave me the H alone lol

  29. Liza says:

    Haha! Most memorable off the top of my head was when my 3 year old son was squeezing the dog’s head and trying to stick his thumbs in its eyes. “He likes it!” he said.

  30. Wendy says:

    My Mum’s cat stays with us while she is travelling and I’m sure that when he sees her get his carrier down, he hopes to be taken to the vets for a shot rather than our house, with all the toddler “love”.

  31. Yes! Perfect point Jen. LOL.

  32. Zen says:

    My daughter is 9 and she expressed to me very loudly in Target the other day that she often thinks about wanting to break her own wrist … oh man, the looks we got. She then explained that she has just always wanted to wear a cast, she thought it was kinda cool. I guess I can understand a curiosity like that, she also wants braces even though her teeth are straight (so did I as a kid, something about shiny metal in my mouth seemed appealing.)

  33. Sarah says:

    🙁 this kinda makes me sad…we have to put our kitty down tomorrow. She is old and sick. But my 15 month old tries to ride the kitty anyway. She also loves to pet the kitty and ‘love’ on the kitty. This involves putting her head on the kitty and saying “awe”.

  34. Pam says:

    We recently intervened between our 8 month old and his attempt to teeth on our dog’s leg. I had worried so much about the dog biting the baby.. I forgot that it could work the other way!

  35. Melanie says:

    oh my, this is my preschooler to a T! I thought that it would get better as she got older, but it seems to have gotten worse because now she is stronger. But then she’ll be super cute and lay baby bottles in their paws while their sleeping. 🙂

  36. Delia says:

    I probably own the dumbest, most docile, wuss of a dog in the world. He is an 85 pound Greyhound. He towers over the toddler and the chihuahua who both torment him relentlessly yet he does nothing. The 6 pound chihuahua steals his food and bed and he just stands there and waits his turn to have his things back. The toddler sits on him, pulls his ears and tail and plays “doctor” with him regularly! She drags him around the house by his collar and he just follows her wherever she leads him. I am always reminding her to be careful, easy, nice, gentle….sigh.

  37. Jessica G says:

    Yes. My 3 1/2 year old daughter loves my 3 1/2 month old son all too much sometimes. She likes to lay on him in order to hug him. All 33 pounds of her on top of all 17 pounds of him.

  38. Angela says:

    Yes, my now 3 year old grabbed the cat by the tail and pulled her across the hardwood floor (he was 15 months old at the time). “Look, mama…I a sucay!” Lovely. She’s just starting to allow him to cuddle her…but if his hand gets too close to her tail…she bolts. LOL

  39. karen says:

    My daughter was always great with the cat, but wanted to throw her baby sister in the garbage. That was a bit worrisome at the time. She is 13 now and doesn’t seem to be feeling that as much! 🙂

  40. katie says:

    my daughter (22 months) *loves* our kitty. for months, i have reminded her to “be gentle with the kitty, remember you can only pet or smooch her.” consequently, when she sees kitty, she states, “I WANT TO BE GENTLE WITH KITTY!!”

  41. Amber Dusick says:

    So sorry about your kitty, Sarah.

  42. Elizabeth says:

    my cat for the longest time took crap from my kid (now almost 5) i got her when i was preggo with my oldest and he would pull her tail, and pet her super hard, squish her, lay on her, you name it…he did it…the cat recently started fighting back (she is declawed) she will give my son a warning by hissing, or by batting at him, well he thinks this is now a game and wants to play with her…can’t wait till they both get older…my poor cat 🙁

  43. Suzanne says:

    My 3 year old is the same, but with her 4 month old brother. His arm and fingers just don’t bend that way!

  44. Erica says:

    My 5 yr old is that way….with everything: pets, people, toys. She will smother you with a kiss (or leave a bruise on you because she kissed/hugged/loved you too hard). She’s gotten a little better over the years but she still does it on occasion.

  45. Delenn says:

    We have two cats and know EXACTLY what you mean. For some odd reason I thought it was a good idea to get a kitten when my daughter was 2 years old…I feared for his life until he got older…on the other hand, he is def the attention hog.

  46. rachel says:

    just as i finished reading this, my almost 4 year old just ran off out of the room, chasing the cat with a freshly sharpened pencil! “kitty! aaaaaaaahhhgggghhhhh!!!!!”

  47. BigMama says:

    My 2 year old (then about 18 mos) had a “loving the dog too hard moment”. He swung his brawly, all-boy arm back and “pet” her… She then “loved” his face with her teeth. Yup, you guessed it… Trip to the ER, stitches right in his lip, and lots of tears. Needless to say, he has a healthy respect for her now. He only loves her gently now…. And with TONS of cautious parental supervision.

  48. Jessica S. says:

    Just last week my 17 month old was chasing the cat around, TACKLING him over and over and over again. He was bitten on his head and I had to get him on antibiotics because it got infected overnight. Ugh! My fault, not the kitty’s; he couldn’t help but fight back after that kind of assault! Now the baby still chases him until I yell “He’s gonna bite you!!” Kids aren’t very smart are they…

  49. b says:

    Hahaha…. My almost 4 year old and almost 2 year old are ths same! SIT Gypsie…. SIIIIIT! Poor dog… she was laying down… So confused!

  50. June says:

    My 1-y-o twins do the same hug-kitty pose seen in Frame 2, but then they’ll turn face down and start rhythmically humping him while cackling. It’s the damndest thing. Older child never did that. They also lay their faces right at the tail-body junction and I try to stop them before they burrow in.

  51. Emily says:

    My 2 yo is trying to make fish sticks out of our poor fish I’m afraid lol.

  52. kristy says:

    Our toddler kept saying over and over again, ” Kick Ginger.” To which we would turn and try to correct her. She never actually kicked our 10 year old beagle; she just enjoyed saying it. Not fun when company sans kids was over.

  53. Kelly says:

    LOL at “Gentle”!!!

  54. Here is the thing…I know your “love” for your cats…

    I “love” my cats after kids too. And by love, I mean, can’t stand. So, when my baby and toddler mess with my cats, I think it is kinda funny and kinda enjoy it. Yes, I say the obligatory “Please be gentle, please don’t do xyz to the cats”.

    But the cats are fine, they always go back for more torture and so therefore, kinda funny.

  55. Carla says:

    My 22 month old sits on his 8 month old sister to love her and cuddle her. Scary sometimes but she seems to love it

  56. Susan says:

    We used to have a fish. But then our two-year-old wanted Fishy to sleep with him like the kitty does. The funeral was unexpectedly touching, considering there was a toilet involved.

  57. Janette says:

    We got a puppy a month after our third baby was born, so the puppy is now 5 months old. Our other two children are 3 (August) and almost 2 (October). Our 2 yo NEVER leaves this poor dog alone! Her version of petting is similar to others’ – she smacks his back or his head. She hangs on to his collar and drags him around, she climbs on top of him, etc. He just takes it and gives me a look that says “PLEASE help me, mom!” lol It all kind of reminds me of that “Of Mice and Men” skit from SNL with Chris Farley… lol It is very cute, though, when she gives our dog hugs. 🙂

  58. Hope says:

    My four-year-old for some odd reason likes to pinch our dogs ears! It drives me crazy!! Maybe I should pinch his ears? Just a thought!

  59. Susannah says:

    One day we found my nephew’s goldfish belly up in the tank. 4 year old Mattie wanted the fishy to have a bath so he jacked up the temperature of the water. Poor boiled fishy.

  60. Joy says:

    Haha, I have to share – yesterday we put DD on the phone with MIL and tell her to say “I love you!” What does my child say? “Fuck.”

  61. Shelby says:

    HA HA. We have this exact scenario with our 2.5 year old daughter and our two little dogs. I think the dogs tolerate her torture, I mean LOVE, because she generously allows them to eat her breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner that she purposely drops from the table. I guess it is a mutually beneficial relationship…???

  62. Tessa says:

    When my 12 yo was a toddler she loved to pick kitty up by the neck and give it a hug and forget to let go.

  63. Teresa says:

    Yes. Except it goes more like this: He runs from her and she corners him, saying “Don’t worry doggy, I get scared too.” Then proceeds to comfort him until he pees himself. No amount of explanation will convince her that she is the one he is scared of. (To all my animal loving friends out there, we do try to protect our 4 legged friend from the emotional trauma, to the extent that it is possible.)

  64. Rebecca says:

    Awesome post! Makes me feel more normal. My 2 year old has informed us on different occasions that he will saw the dog in half, and boil the dog. Hmmm….Dexter? yes.

  65. Jessica says:

    Yes! We have the friendliest orange tabby ever that will flop down before the 4 yo and 1 yo and just let them climb all over him, pull his ears and fur, and purr all the while. He might issue an unconvincing warning growl when they touch his tail. The kids laugh when I say “he’ll scratch you”, as it’s never happened. He never tries to reach higher ground.

  66. Heather says:

    My 2 year old is mostly good with the pets. She sometimes uses the dog as a chair. The amazing thing is how she’s figured out all the cats. There are three of extremely varying personality. One will bite anything that moves, one wants to be left alone at all times and the other is the most annoying and demanding animal on the face of the earth but he never bites or scratches. So she knows the leave the anti-social one alone, she knows exactly how to pet the biter so she doesn’t get bitten. And the last one she sometimes tortures. She will drag him down the hallway by the tail like he’s a wagon.

  67. vanessa says:

    Your evil toddler drawing borders on good art, despite the blog name! Perfect expression.

  68. Thora says:

    HA! I love the look on baby’s face when he says “break da kitty”. Gold! Both my kids do (or have done) this. But we don’t have pets, so Mommy and Daddy get ‘intense hugs’ where they will squeeze crazy hard and start trembling with ^that look on their face.

  69. Amy lav says:

    “whaa dat?” lmfao….

  70. Sapphyre_au says:

    The good news is you can’t be diagnosed as a sociopath or psychopath (both now known as Antisocial Personality Disorder) unless you are at least 18 and have been having this kind of behaviour since 15 and older…

    Kids are weird. But entertaining!

  71. Corinne says:


    I think all toddlers have a little psycho in them.

  72. Silverdragon says:

    My older daughter is 5 and STILL does this to the poor puppy, who admittedly gets his own back with his little needly teeth! I go blue in the face yelling at both of them until I either put the puppy outside, or send Miss 5 to her room (she’s old enough to know better than to squeeze the dog to death) or both! I do question my sanity about buying a puppy while on mat leave…

  73. I have always sworn that toddlers are feral and the job of mothering is domestication. The comments are as hilarious as the entry today!

    Our cat household has raised kittens. Recently, all of them declared that my two year old has passed the baby stage and may now be disciplined, with the gentle pressure of tooth and claw, when he crosses the line, especially with the more geriatric kitties. Amazingly, they have never left a mark, but the toddler is learning his limits with them. I still have to pry his fingers off their tails.

    My last toddler had all hard toys and stick/bat/club type items banned until he was nearly done with preschool.

  74. Becky says:

    I’ll never forget how my then 18 month old daughter went from gently stroking the grandparents cat to mashing the cat into the floor. It was hilarious but we told her not to smush the kitty.

  75. Rainyday says:

    My oldest does that boa constrictor trick on his little brothers neck allllll the time. The cats caught on to him long ago.

  76. Brenna Lamb says:

    I love reading your posts, thank you! I’ve teared up plenty of times from laughing so hard, especially when I read the baby starfish in the bed one. I have 3 kiddos 7, 5, and 3 and have 2 kitty’s which they lug around like a sack of tators and the kittys love it. Mostly, and when they don’t my kids are reminded that kitty’s have claws ;•)

  77. Eric Jensen says:

    psychotic psy·chot·ic (sī-kŏt’ĭk)
    Of, relating to, or affected by psychosis. n.
    A person affected by psychosis.

    psychosis psy·cho·sis (sī-kō’sĭs)
    n. pl. psy·cho·ses (-sēz)
    A severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning.

    If you replace “severe mental disorder” with “child under the age of ten” it makes total sense.

    My kids are either pretending balloons are babies or dragging the cat around the house by her tail.

  78. Cheryl says:

    My now 11yo used to hand cuff the kitty (Dad is a Police Officer) and my 3 yo likes to “kill” the kitty, (it is the same kitty!)

  79. It’s not too often that I literally laugh out loud. My own kitty is giving me the strangest look as I wipe tears from my face. Little does he know, hahaha!

  80. B says:

    my daughter loved our pet hampster to death.

  81. maggiemoo says:

    lol! Too funny!:)

  82. Catherine says:

    That describes my dog as well. Their whole relationship changed when my daugheter started eating solid food. Our poor dog is “loved” daily, thank goodness he is a good dog.

  83. maggiemoo says:

    We got a puppy when my son was almost 3. He spent the first three months of the dog’s life trying to kill it. The poor dog was thrown against a tree, rolled off a couch, tossed in the pool, dumped out of a window…the puppy got bigger and the tables turned! They now have an uneasy truce…They really are both sweet little creatures! Then again, I had to stop him from seeing if his pencil would fit in the dog’s…”behind” just last week…and don’t even get me started on the whole cat dynamic around here!

  84. maggiemoo says:

    Achhh! Our future generation! Why am I feeling uneasy?

  85. The Mommy says:

    Yes! Our 3 year old sometimes loves on her 4 month old baby sister a little too enthusiastically.

  86. Joanne says:

    My daughter does the same thing with one of our [two] cats, who eats up any attention. She’ll say things like, “I love you, Iris,” and then a few seconds later, “I sit on Iris!” I have to run to the rescue because Iris will just SIT there and take it!

  87. Sophie says:

    Thank you for illustrating this! I thought it was just my 2yr old! He does this with the cat, the dog, random children in the playground. We have a constant refrain: “nice hug. let go NOW”. When he was going through a hug/biting phase, he bit the dog too. Poor dog was so surprised he didn’t know what to do.

  88. Ellie says:

    My 3.5 yo son occasionally says that he’ll squash his 9 mo brother ‘to jelly’ when he cuddles him. I put this down to telling him that if he runs into the road, a car might squash him to jelly and that would be Sad. Not sure why he threatens his baby brother with jellification, though.

  89. Carol Gardens says:

    Ha Ha ha ha….

  90. Simone says:

    This may sound strange but I kind of get it, the feeling that the love inside your body is so powerful it almost (almost) feels sadistic because it is so strong. Like with my babies I sometimes feel so much love I want to bite them (I don’t!) – it’s just like some urge to engulf them and consume them with my love – because the feeling is so consuming 🙂

  91. Rosalie says:

    I agree, I don’t know how you do it but that cat has so much expression!

  92. My cat runs away when he sees the kids, their enthousiasm scares him to death.

  93. sarah says:

    i mean… mine only does it on the daily, which is obviously normal… right? :/ about a year ago, he looked identical to miko hughes in pet sematary (i want to play with YOU!); thank God he’s grown out of that… just not stalking our dog and whatnot, but this too will pass… maybe… hopefully?

  94. Cathy says:

    My near-3 yo boy adds the word Off to that same construction: Mommy, I broke my knee off! I scraped my arm off! I break sister’s arm off!
    Best of all is the potty training. Mommy, I break my penis off!

    • M..J. says:

      LOL Oh your son sounds like fun wit the word off! I laughed pretty hard with the last sentence.

  95. the lupines says:

    don’t you think it’s the testosterone? i mean, full disclosure, i feel that way too sometimes, some little critter is soooooooo cute you just want to sqeeeeeeeeze a little too hard? maybe i’m like dexter too….

  96. Katrina says:

    My 3 year old, who was 2 at the time, decided my cat looked like a good trampoline. She dislocated my poor cats leg, and laughed about it! What an expensive trampoline that was.

    My cat, who was at the time, a kitten, who we rescued from a shelter and who had been abused, strangely enough, still loves my daughter. No idea why, she also gets “strangled” daily, locked in cupboards, pushed in the pram etc.
    Poor cat.

  97. Jaclyn says:

    Caitlyn LOVES our cat and likes to use her as a pillow. Luckily she doesn’t want to break any of the living things in our home, but I’m pretty sure she wants to BE the kitty. Or maybe the dog. It’s the only explanation why as the world’s pickiest eater she still regularly tries to eat their food and drink from their water dishes. And I have to take her out of the dog’s cage at least 3 times a day. I came up with a solution though, I’m getting her a taxidermied cat for Christmas.

  98. jes says:

    We just had to put our sweet cat down a couple of weeks ago. I have a 14 mo old that loved him a lot and we all miss him tons. Hugs to you! I hope today goes ok for you. It sucks.

  99. Laura says:

    Lol! If it makes you feel better, I recently found out that when my cousin was 5 months old, and I was about 3, I was stroking her hair and whispering in her ear “I’m going to KILL you!” :-O Thankfully, I turned out just fine… I’m not a serial killer, nor do I have psychopathic tendencies… I promise!

  100. Sabrina says:

    My son (with autism) has been very gentle and easy with a neighbor’s baby. It went on for 5 or 6 days, with him gently holding the baby’s hand, saying “baby” and smiling. Last time I let him near the baby he transitioned from smiling quietly to yelling “baby” at the top of his voice right in the baby’s face. Like nose to nose. So he doesn’t see the baby any more.
    He’s also deathly afraid of animals, except for cats – he chases them around while laughing maniacally.
    My daughter, on the hand, is sweet and gentle most of the time. She has a tendency to pick up the cat like a sack of potatoes sometimes, though.

  101. Fuchsia says:

    One of my sisters was like that as a kid. She just wanted a cast. She would try and step on her arm to break it! Then she did break it for real (by accident) and discovered that a cast is a lot less fun that she thought!

  102. Fuchsia says:

    Our cat trained the baby (now almost 3) from the get go. We adopted her at 7 and we think she was a family cat before cause she knew just what to do with the kid. She trained her to be gentle or she would leave. Don’t corner her or she will hiss. Never once bit or clawed her but made her point from a young age. As long as my daughter is gentle the cat is the purriest cuddliest kitty. If she gets too rough kitty gives her s**t and leaves. Smart kitty!

  103. Parkersmommy says:

    We have 2, 95 lb labs, my son uses them as a jungle gym, etc. I’m not too worried, when they get tired of being messed with they just get up and walk away. I’m more worried about the fact that my son is obsessed with trying to grab and yank on their testicles and penises! So wrong on sooo many levels!

  104. Anna says:

    Yes! Mine 3 year old loves to do that to her 8 month old brother (and has been for a while). He is laughing so hard when it happens too :-O

  105. Elisabeth says:

    I think we have the same cat and toddler! My toddler loves on the cat constantly and is insanely rough, but my cat just keeps coming back for more.

  106. Vero says:

    Same here!! It’s 2.5 year old over 3 months old brother… I’m glad my 3 months old is a chunky monkey!!

  107. Rebekkah says:

    Oh yes. We’ve had that exact conversation about a million times. Now he does it to his baby brother. Splendid.

  108. Katie says:

    I was having a really rough night. And this genuinely made me giggle. Thanks. 🙂

  109. OMG you just described my daughter to the tee. I have a Siamese that is about 10 yrs old and way too lovable. He doesn’t care that she is ripping out his hair in tuffs he just wants to be petted.

  110. Tamara says:

    My 16 month old daughter growls. I shouldn’t worry. Right?

  111. Jen says:

    I think I just wet my pants from laughing so hard!! My boys were both like this with our cat…and I LOVE that your cat in your pics has facial expressions – PRICELESS!

    I have often felt that I might be raising the next Unibomber or Ted Bundy….I know RIGHT where you’re coming from thinking your own child might be a sociopath!

  112. Jen says:

    My 2 year old is like this with his younger brother who is 5 months old. Who knew kissing and body slamming had so much in common. Don’t get me started on the hugs.

  113. Jordon says:

    This is too funny! And we deal with this exact situation daily with our second son (3 yrs old). I often say he treats our animals like they are furniture! And the word gentle can’t be used enough with my boys 🙂
    I relate to so much of what you write/draw and I appreciate your blog 🙂 Thanks for what you do to make us all laugh!

  114. Donna says:

    Too funny!
    My daughter likes to SIT on my cat. Then bounce up and down like he’s a horse. Poor kitty.
    Thank goodness he’s 25 pounds or he’d be dead by now.

  115. My daughter does this to my son. She hugs him and smiles while he screams, cries, and tries to pry her off him. Secretly I think she knows this is torture even though she’s only 1 yr old

  116. Heather C says:

    Hahahahaha! YES! I tell my 3yr old all the time “Easy Lenny” because he hasn’t learned that petting an animal and say… hammering a nail require two differnt skill sets.

  117. Linda says:

    My 22 month old likes to hitch a ride on the doggies tail. She wait till the dog is on her way out of the room, grabs a big chunk of fur either side and gets pulled along – laughs her little head off as the dog drags her through the house. – I caught her the other day pouring water over the dog with a plastic tea cup. ‘Doggie drink’ in a very forceful voice (wedge dogs mouth open / pour water in) Poor dog – then in the blink of an eye the teacup was back in the water bowl and she took a big gulg.(YUK)- Eye poking is another favourite at the moment. Poor old dog puts up with a lot. Strangely enough she is very gentle and kind to mums cats – maybe she a cat person.

  118. TBRDmomma says:

    Grin! My take is that you usually say “Gentle” when they’re handling something breakable, right?? So, telling him to be gentle with the cat implies it’s breakable – a theory he’s gotta test, being a child – a boy child at that!!

    EVERY parent has had to go through this – otherwise they’re not normal – right?

  119. TBRDmomma says:

    Maybe mum’s cat taught her how to be gentle!

  120. Lisa says:

    Oh my god, you almost made me pee my pants laughing. It didn’t occur to me either! Though I did find out that the dog will leave the baby’s toys alone but the baby won’t leave the dog’s toys alone.

  121. TBRDmomma says:

    LOL!! I totally can envision this! Big wide open drooly mouth!! AAH!

  122. Marija says:

    With kids and animals, it is universal. I was 3-4 years old when I got interested in what is eye made of. But it hurts to touch my own, so I just scooted over to neighbor’s German shepard mut (that took it’s job of protecting property waaaay to seriously, it was a fearsom kind of beast with everybody but his owner and me). Touching his eyes was painless for me… Poor thing just tried to move his head to avoid me, when finally stood up and went as far as it could (being chained on long sliding rope). Luckily my parents noticed and intervened, and saved the dog from further torchure.

  123. Vriesea says:

    This makes my cat seem very smart. She has always looked at my kids with a jaundiced eye, and only allows the gentlest of approaches from them when she happens to be in a good mood. As a result, they are gentle with her, and cautious with any other animal they come in contact with. Win, and win!

  124. Kirsten says:

    I don’t have a cat but I have a 3 year old daughter and an 8 month old son. You can pretty much replace your cat with a crappy pic of my sweet baby boy. She loves to torture him in the name of sibling love. The other day she said “I love him so much I want to eat his beautiful eyes” I shit you not. Girls are pretty scary.

  125. LeahM says:

    Yet another reason I don’t have pets.

  126. CJ says:

    Crack up!

  127. AshleyC says:

    hahahahahahahah this post had me cracking up!!! right now my son is one year, so all he does is smack the dogs and take his little hands and grab and pull chunks of fur from them before i can get over there in time to save them… but im sure ill be going through that soon!

  128. Alicia C. says:

    Oh, yeah! Sometimes I hear a hollow ‘WHACK WHACK WHACK’ “What’s going on in there?”
    “I pet Number 1 gentle.” (Number 1 is the cat’s name – long story.)
    That’s when I drop the hot baking sheet full of just-baked cookies on the floor and run! Number one has giant, super sharp claws and does NOT like being pet in my little guy’s “gentle” way!

  129. Ashlyn says:

    How about kissing the dogs?! My daughter opens her mouth in front of the dog’s mouth for a kiss and gets full tongue licks in her mouth. It’s not unusual to hear “Stop making out with the dog!” around my house. SOO dysfunctional! Freaks my mom out, she’s not really a dog person so she finds it extra gross. I find it gross too, but that’s just one of those things when you have pets. Oh and I recently found out she does it with the dogs at her daycare too. Awesome!

  130. Alicia says:

    hmm…love or jeolousy?

  131. K says:

    I don’t have animals now because of what happened when I was a 2 year old. I apparently loved our dog too much and he bit off a big chunk of my face. It was right near my birthday and there are LOTS of pictures of the injury. To this day I am not an animal lover.

  132. Dusty says:

    We used to have a chihuahua and the things that my 3 year old did to her never ceased to amaze me! She tried so hard to stay away from him, but it never worked he caught her and they would have fights daily! He would hit her, and she would bite back (not hard, just a “leave me alone” nip) I let her too because no matter what I did he wouldn’t stop being a jerk! We got rid of her, the poor thing, I imagine she is much happier now!

  133. Melanie says:

    haHAHAH Yes I go through this about once a day.. I have to remind my 2 year old daughter to be “gentle” with our 2 dogs ( a 28lbs pug and a 100lbs mastiff). She starts off petting them nicely and then grabs both of their poor wrinkle faces and squeezes them like she is trying to smush them even more ahaha Poor dogs!! But they are getting love but like you said sometimes a little scary!

  134. We have four cats. but three of them we only acquired in the last year, and when we got them they were kittens, so this life is normal to them. BUT, my almost ten year old oriental kitty was in the for the shock of his lifetime when my oldest began crawling. She crawled right over to him and bit him on the tail. Poor kitty.

  135. sar says:

    When my son was 3-4ish we watched Charlotte’s Web. He asked why Wilber was afraid of being killed and I told him the truth, that people eat ham and ham is made of pig (ok, perhaps I shouldn’t have been so literal with a little kid, but we’re truthful parents). I expected him to be upset, but instead he looked at me, thought for a few moments, and said, “mmm, do we have any ham?”
    THAT ONE made me worry 🙂
    P.S. He is now 5 and loves animals and loves ham, so I guess he is pretty normal.

  136. Cindy says:

    Your reply is my favorite.

  137. Cindy says:

    When my oldest was a toddler, she used to ride my cat.
    I also have twin 3 y/os. They love the dog. They’ll hug him, kiss him, pet him, roll around with him, then stand up and give him a swift kick. I don’t get it.

  138. says:

    I´m laughing in tears! so true! thanks for sharing your talent 🙂

  139. Kim says:

    When my daughter was 3, she loved two rabbits to death. Literally, choked them with her heartfelt hugs. I must point out that this did not happen on my watch.

  140. eValerie says:

    Back in my teenage babysitter days, there was this one toddler I babysat for who *teethed* on the dog. The dog was a really mean creature who used to nip at my legs all the time — I really disliked that dog. But he put up with the toddler teething on him and whopping him and just took it. I was always really amazed.

    Nowadays, my nine-year-old has been giving overly zealous hugs to my three-year-old since he was a baby. Can’t convince her to stop. She knocks him over with her exuberant hugs every day. Drives me crazy! It’s hard to figure out what to say when she does that. “STOP HUGGING YOUR BROTHER!!!”???

  141. I got a good chuckle out of the last picture. lol

  142. Y says:

    As usual, you are spookily echoing the EXACT same things that are happening to our kids. We have twin boys who turn 5 in two months, and a daughter who is 2.5. Daughter has the magic superpower of turning EVERYTHING into a baby (not just one of the millions of dolls we have lying around. I’m talking dish towels and toy submarines). She talks to the “baby” nonstop in soothing, sweet tones and makes sure baby gets fed, changed, washed, exercised, put to bed, etc. One day she comes up to me and says in her sweetest, singsong voice: “I kill the baby!” No malice, no violence. Just matter-of-fact. Creepy…. But then she goes back to reading Baby her version of Cat in Hat (“it was too wet to play with da fishy!”) and my heart comes down out of my throat and just melts again.

  143. Niner says:

    Buy some plaster wrap from your local craft store and some gauze, then make a cast for her to slip on and off whenever she wants. She’ll most likely wear it for a few hours before deciding it’s uncomfortable and itchy.

  144. Niner says:

    My baby cousin does that with their family’s pitbull. That poor dog just lets the kid bounce on her, bite her nose and ears, and drag her across the room like a limp noodle. Pitties are such awesome dogs when raised in loving homes…even overly-loving ones. 😛

  145. Sally says:

    when my daughter was that age she got out a golf club and attempted to play “whack a cat” as she called it

  146. Melissa says:

    Just had to comment because my son’s name is Lenny also. Not to often I hear someone else with that name. We call him Lenny short for Leniel.

  147. Andrea says:

    OMG! Too funny! I have two cats as well- one super gentle (a little dim perhaps?) and a real “hunter”but skittish type (he’s got mad survivor skillz). They are both still traumatized from those toddler “hugs” and daily games of “chase the kitty”. Luckily, the sweet kitty lets my daughter pick him up and carry him around now so the skittish one gets a break. Even at 6 yrs though, I still need to keep an eye on her–kids just love to squeeze soft things!!

  148. Margaret B. says:

    Same story at my house… black kitty? check. enthusiastic & loving toddler? check. When afore mentioned toddler approaches kitty we yell, “Run Away, kitty! Run away!” Kitty ignores us & subjects himself to torture at the hands of our toddler on a regular basis.

  149. This is our life right now. Our 10 month old comes away with handfuls of fur. Poor, poor kitty! -Rebecca

  150. chanel says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought I might check things out.

  151. I’m talking dish towels and toy submarines.

  152. Melanie says:

    When my son was about a year old, he crawled up behind the kitty and poked him in the butt hole. (The cat’s eyes popped out like a cartoon). I think kitty would have preferred a nice, squishy hug.

  153. Lacey says:

    My son at 14 months has started to enjoy trying to run the cat down with his push truck. He does this while giggling manically and only stops when he runs full force into something – the wall, a door, the child-fence. He so far hasn’t HIT the cat and the cat also hasn’t gone into hiding so maybe he thinks it’s fun too? We use the “gentle” word a lot. I was raised by dogs and cats and so I’m more than willing to let our cat teach our little boy some of the facts of life – I keep the cat’s claws trimmed (he lets me do it every week without struggling, unlike my son) and otherwise am going to let things handle themselves. The other day my son was thumping on the kitty’s back (“Gentle! Gentle! We pet kitties, we don’t hit them!”) when for the first time the giant, 17lb cat growled, wrapped his front legs around our toddler’s head and tried to gnaw on his scalp. Didn’t actually manage to get a bite or scratch in (I don’t think he was trying hard… just being educational) and our son was laughing his a$$ off the whole time. Since he does the same thing when I tell him “no” I don’t think he’s learning what we’re trying to teach him 🙁

  154. Sarah says:

    My 12 month old is nuts about our two cats. The one will put up with a lot of “love” before he gives a little nip. The other runs from everyone anyway. I wish I had the option when he starts biting, smacking, pinching, scratching me. He’s actually gentler with the cats!

  155. M..J. says:

    Somehow this entry made me laugh so hard I nearly cried and wet myself. Why are children so cute then scary?… LOL

  156. Lana says:

    our first son who is now 2.5 years old has always been super gentle, we NEVER have to tell him not to rough up our pets. And we have a lot of pets. Our second child is unfortunately the exact opposite and I am certain views our cats as food and our dog as a tackle training tool. But it’s the turtle he treats the worst. Feeling the need to tap his shell with a toy hammer.. and he’s only almost 9 months old.

  157. Cynthia says:

    This made me laugh. I say the phrase “if the cat walks away he doesn’t want to play” about 100 times a day.

  158. Rachel says:

    Although I am not a parent we often have two children over. One is a little girl who is always SUPER gentle with our cat. We told he right in the beginning when she was 2 ish that if she hurt the cat by being to hard the kitty would hurt her back. She is super good about being gentle.
    The other is a little boy that we told the same thing- and he didn’t listen. He was to hard, the cat scratched him. He got a band aid and a warning to be more gentle next time….and he was.

  159. Jessica says:

    Oh my goodness, I just read this at work and had to stifle the laughter, but there are tears streaming down my face!! I have a cat just like that and a 3 year old son… this was just like a scene playing out in my living room which usually ends with me yelling at the cat “For the love of all that’s good.. just run away and save yourself!!!” ROFL X**D