Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Changed targets

"when we go to the market, mummy", said Anjali, "Lets buy a cat from the pet shop"

This was a little difficult, for a couple of reasons - first, there was no pet shop in the market, and second, patti would go ballistic if we ever got a cat in our home. (There is a sad story involving my youth, a visit to the SPCA and a returned kitten, but that is for another day)

We were on our way to the market, me carrying  Sophia and husband carrying Anjali, when this strange request happened. The plan had been to buy flowers from Krishna Jayanthy and to return.

"Shapia want it - meeshai", piped up the other imp.

"Why on earth do you girls want a cat?", I asked. "The cat will run all around the house and leave cat hair everywhere"

Anjali paused to consider

"I will clean up the cat hair mummy", she explained. "Every morning, after I get up and brush my teeth, I will take a byoom and sweep up the cat hair and then I will take the cat with me and give it a bath and I will take a bath also"

"What if the cat does not want to take a bath? What if it does like you and says "I dont want to take a bath?" then what will you do?", I asked

"Then I will open the door and let it out of the bathroom", replied Anjali promptly. She firmly believes in not letting animals do things that they dont want to do

"But then if the cat doesnt take a bath for one month, it will become dirty and smelly.", I countered

"Then I will carry the cat and put it in the bathtub - you know the red bathtub in which Sophia take a bath - and then I will take a sponge, dip it in water and dip it in soap and then clean the cat up"

"taie meeshai, take meeshai, hug meeshai"

"Ok, but what happens when some cat hair gets into patti's nose and if patti is alergic to cat hair, and then she will catch a cold" I asked

It took Anjali a few seconds to consider this, as terms such as allergy were new to her.

"But there will not be any cat hair in the house", she replied, "I will clean up all the cat hair. I will do it every morning. I will not go to school and spend my time cleaning cat hair"

Ah!

"Anjali", I said, very sternly - as sternly as i could while trying to keep a straight face "You cant skip school and clean up cat hair. It doesnt work that way"

"Alright", said Anjali unconcernedly. "I will clean up cat hair everymorning and when I am not there, Sophia can take the byoom - you know the byoom mummy? - Sophia can take that byoom and clean up the cat hair"

"take byoom.. clean up...", echoed Sophia from my hip

"Ok", I said, trying to see a way out of the situation. "How will you take care of the cat"

"Oh!", said Anjali, "You must let it yun ayound and yun ayound... " - she paused - "I will ask some people who have cats how to tae care of them"

Ah! an escape route!

"Do you know anyone who has a cat?"

"No!"

Atlast! "So, how will you learn how to take care of a cat?"

Anjali stopped for a bit, thinking. I turned my attention to the other imp.

"Meeshai! Thake Meeshai, Thaaaie Meeshai"

"What do you want?"

"Meeshai want it Shapia!"

"But it will be putting cat hair all over the place"

"tlean up!" (As if that were so easy!)

"Mummy", interrupted Anjali, "You know... i think Tricia has a cat"

"Ok", I said. "You find out from Tricia how to take care of a cat and then we will get a cat"

But Anjali wasnt finished.

"I will sleep with the cat in the hall", she continued, "and you, daddy and Sophia sleep in the bedyoom"

"But what if the cat wants to sleep with me on the bed?" I asked

Anjali looked at me as though I was quite daft

"But the cat will not want to sleep with you", she explained, as though stating the obvious. "You know it will only want to sleep with me, because I love evything!"

Right!

"We will have to put a mattress or bed in the hall for you and the cat", I said. "The floor will be too hard"

"Never mind mummy", said Anjali. "I will be ok, I can sleep on the hard floor"

"What will you feed the cat?"

"Oh, we can give it milk", came the prompt reply.

"How much milk do you need to give the cat?"

"One kilo.... no, I think half a kilo will be ok"

"Half a kilo everyday?"

"Yes. Only me and the cat will drink all the milk in the house!"

"Can Sophia also drink the milk?"

"Ok"

"Can daddy drink some milk also? Daddy likes milk you know?"

"Ok."

"Anjali, why dont we just pretend that daddy is a cat and feed him milk and then it will be all fine"

"No mummy, I want a real cat"

"Anjali," said husband "Why dont we give you another little sister (WHAT??) instead of a cat? You know, you can change diapers and everything"

"No daddy! I want a real cat"

"Shapia alsho"

"What do you want?"

"Want it anai!"

"huh!"

"Want it tutti anai thaaaie"

Well.. whatever!



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