Yesterday we discovered that our youngest believes she is now a cat stylist. She is 8 and seems to struggle a bit (okay, A LOT) with impulse control. Her latest act involved two of our poor cats, a pair of scissors and whiskers. Thankfully for the cats, they were not all cut off, but they were cut short enough that there will be issues for these poor cats until they grow back.
These are those frustrating moments in parenting when you do not always know what to do. First of all, the poor cats look hilarious. Second, the whole situation is a bit comical (though not for our cats). Third, she lacks impulse control – she has ZERO, she was not on medication at the time this occurred – it was not her fault. She really could not control herself. That said, there needs to be a consequence, even if the end result is that the consequence has no affect on future cat torturing behavior.
This is poor Delilah, with a little less facial hair.
These are Gracie’s shorter whiskers.
They will both live, and we have also decided to let our youngest live. My partner came up with the best consequence we could think of – research on the importance of whiskers and their function and purpose, coupled with an apology letter to the cats (never mind that the cats cannot read). Maybe we should have grounded her until the whiskers grew back????
I am not sure she will have the ability to generalize this information to future situations in which her impulse to make a bad choice overrides her brain’s ability to question how wise her choices are. That remains to be seen and is a scary part of parenthood.
In the meantime, I hope the whiskers grow back soon.