Cats and Dogs and Swankypants

Flea and dog

As regular readers of my blog will know, Flea is living that whole ‘My Life as a Dog’ thing at the moment.

And to be honest, it’s all my own fault.

One day, when Flea was almost four years of age, she asked for a dog. I was distracted, and not really thinking when I mumbled, “Sure. When you’re seven.”

20 months later, Flea can still tell you EXACTLY how many days it is until her seventh birthday when, apparently, she is going to receive a Jack Russell dog called ‘Rascal’ who will sleep in a basket next to Mummy’s bed, and have a green collar and will definitely be a boy dog.

Flea is obsessed with dogs. She has approximately 40 soft toys in her bedroom – and they’re all dogs. When they play ‘Mummies and Daddies’ at school, Flea is the family dog.

And when being examined by doctors, Flea likes to pretend she is at the vet’s, and so will ‘woof’ her way through the consultation. On a daily basis, Flea keeps a tally of how many dogs she has seen out and about – yesterday was 13, which is relatively high because we went to the beach.

I’d sort of lost hope and resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to have to buy a dog in 18 months’ time. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t have high hopes when a PR sent us a review copy of a lovely story book called ‘Swankypants’ about a cat with magical powers, and all his cat friends. It's surreal, but fun.

Except, as it turns out, Swankypants has worked some kind of feline magic on my five-year-old. This week, Flea announced, “I really don’t mind what sort of pet we have, you know, Mummy?”


“Well, a cat is smaller than a dog, so I think really you could get a cat when I am six instead of a dog when I am seven.”

"Sure, I guess."

"Then I would like to have a cat, please, Mummy."

This truly is a seismic shift in our domestic policy, I have to tell you. We’ve had almost two years of daily dog talk. Knowing we might be nearing the end of this phase – well, it was quite a heady feeling.

Until I walked into the dining room today to be greeted by Flea, attempting to lick the inside of her own knee.

“Miaow,” she said. “I am a cat.”



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 25th February 2011 / 9:12 pm

    YAY for Flea changing her mind on that one! Must be some book. 🙂

  2. Nikki
    25th February 2011 / 9:46 pm

    A cat has fit to be easier than a dog cost and keep wise. Good luck – bet it changes a few more times too 🙂

  3. 25th February 2011 / 9:53 pm

    Our kids want a dog. Mr Coffee is very allergic. They proposed a plan for him to go and live with Grandma and be visited at Christmas. (Mr Coffee, not the dog.)

  4. 25th February 2011 / 10:52 pm

    I know some great hamster books, if you want to continue the downsizing journey (lower maintenance than cats, as pets go).

  5. John Rambo
    26th February 2011 / 2:41 pm

    Why American men should boycott American women
    I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?
    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.
    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

  6. 26th February 2011 / 6:38 pm

    It is a great book, but I think it helps that Flea is *desperate* for a pet!

  7. 26th February 2011 / 6:39 pm

    And to think they say Americans are mad.

  8. Crispin
    1st March 2011 / 9:31 am

    When he was three Callum ordered two cats one called Johnny and one called Bouncy. Johnny was black and Bouncy was black and white.
    I am allergic to cats.
    18 months later we had two cats. One called Johnny and one called Bouncy. Johnny was black and Bouncy was black and white.
    I am still allergic to cats.