Yesterday, my two youngest boys and I went to visit friends that we haven’t seen in a while. My friend had her two youngest children home with her. My friend and I had a chance to catch up on our lives and all four children played very well together. It was a great visit.
However, when I told Jack, my 3 year old, where we were going, the first thing he said was, “But they have cats!” I thought, maybe this play date isn’t such a good idea. But he wanted to see his friends and he decided that we should go to their house anyway.
You see, Jack has a terrible fear of cats (and dogs). We don’t know where it comes from. He’s never had a bad experience with a cat or a dog. He’s never been attacked or bitten. In fact, he’s had very little contact with cats or dogs, so I think it’s a fear of the unknown. If we are at a park or in the pet store and a dog comes near him, even if it’s on a leash, he jumps into my arms and screams at the top of his lungs.
Almost as soon as we walked in the door, the cats appeared. It’s as if they know that Jack is afraid of them. As hard as my friend tried to keep them out of the room we were in, they kept coming back.
Jack wanted me to hold him every time they came around. The second time he jumped in my arms, I decided to walk over to the cats and pet them. I wanted to show him that they won’t hurt him and that they were friendly and soft. My youngest, James, want to pet them, but Jack didn’t. He did allow me to carry him over to the cats though, which was a huge step for him!
Jack went back to playing, but a few minutes later he asked to pet the cats! I couldn’t believe it. I walked him over to the chair the were sitting on, he climbed up and started petting them. He was so proud of himself! I was so proud of him too!
Next, we need to conquer his fear of dogs! :)