Frequent readers here may recall that last year we hand raised and bottle fed tiny, week-old baby kittens when Mama Cat was killed by a neighbor's dog.
At that time I was severely allergic to cats, but I sacrificed my nasal comfort and stayed jacked up on Benadryl for 6 weeks to make sure those kittens thrived.
As it turned out, the kittens didn't at all appreciate or honor me for my sacrifices. They did not take my example of treating others the way you want to be treated or learn from my loving and gentle nature.
In fact the very opposite happened.
We had created El Diablo Gato. That's "The Devil Cat" for you non-Spanish speakers.
We gave away 3 of the kittens and kept the tiniest, most fragile one for ourselves. She was also mauled in the attack and we found her bloody and limp. I was pretty sure she would die before the next morning, but we managed to pamper her and love her back to health.
Even so, we are now very cautious around our little devil because we never know when walking too close to her or sitting in "her" chair might make her hiss at us and swipe at us with extended claws.
Since the whole "bottle feeding orphaned kittens" days, we have heard from more than one veterinarian that bottle fed kittens are the meanest things this side of junk yard dogs, which as you probably know are almost as mean as Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. And Old King Kong.
You see, since they don't have a mama cat to put them in their place when they misbehave, and humans are generally much too sweet (and genetically impaired) to smack a cat across the face with their claws out, the kittens never learn how to behave as proper, civilized kittens should. They don't have painful consequences for their misdeeds, as kittens do who are raised with their mothers, so they go about doing whatever they please.
This makes them very unpleasant to live with. In fact, one veterinarian said he gets requests to euthanize grown up bottle fed kittens more than any other healthy animal.
I visited recently with the woman who took one of the kittens we gave away and she showed me the bite and claw marks on her arms and legs. She said the cat regularly attacks her out of nowhere and hisses at her if she sits in a chair the cat was considering climbing into. She is afraid of the cat and doesn't know what to do.
All of these experiences with El Diablo Gato got me to thinking about the scripture "A child left to his own will bring his mother to shame." When children (or cats) are left to their own ways, undisciplined and untaught, they will surely grow up to be unpleasant company.
Mamas, take note. We can't expect our children to see our good examples of serving others and cleaning up our own messes and not crying when we don't get our way, and expect our children to follow suit. We must make them do what is right, and yes, even dish out unpleasant consequences for not doing it.
Now, this analogy isn't perfect because I don't have claws and my children don't bite me around the ankles, so don't be gettin' all up in my grill, because I am not saying children should be treated like animals. What I am saying is I think there is a lesson to be learned here.
Mamas play a critical role in teaching our young to be pleasant. Disciplined. A blessing instead of a burden.
No one likes to be around undisciplined cats or children.