Our cat Pearl loves him, climbing the bunk bed ladder every single night to sit with him and purr while he reads. On the rare occasion he is sent to time-out, she goes with him. Each morning when we snuggle in bed, she lies on his chest and purrs.
He's asked if he can take her to college and since I cannot bring up the fact that she is very unlikely to be around then, I have agreed that if his housing situation allows it, he can. He often talks of their life in college together.
He also talks about his first cat that he will get as an adult--how he would never declaw it, how he will build an outdoor cat run, how he will feed it the best food, and get it when it is a little tiny baby after asking the person in charge of cat adoptions which kitten is snuggliest.
But recently he came across a photo of Bill Clinton's cat Socks and decided Socks was the coolest cat ever. He thinks the name Socks is the cutest thing in the world (but almost died of a laughter-induced heart attack to hear that a stray that hung around at the same time was called Slippers) and regardless of what it looks like, insists his future cat will be named Socks.
|The exact photo that started it all. Socks is pretty bad ass, I will admit that.|
So, Clinton's cat comes up in our home a lot, oddly enough. During his Socks the cat research, he heard a derogatory song about Socks and was freaking pissed about it.
"TURN IT OFF!! Socks wouldn't WANT to be free! Socks lived a very nice life, doing cool things. If you're going to write a song about someone's cat, it shouldn't be a depressing song!!" He insisted.
I had to eventually point out that Socks the cat was more famous than the guy who was lame enough to sing a song insulting a cat. He agreed, with vehemence. Don't get him started on that guy, though.
He also went from thinking Bill Clinton was the most creative, most awesome guy in the world (seriously--the name "Socks" is some genius-level shit in Big Kid's opinion) to being disgusted at the news that he left Socks with his former secretary when he got Buddy, as the two were unable to get along. I pointed out that at that point Socks was a celebrity and the cat version of a humanitarian--visiting children's hospitals, going to press conferences, and could probably never be happy again in Arkansas after the glitz and glamour of the White House. A dumb dog wouldn't know how good he's got it. He reluctantly agreed...but he wouldn't have left his cat. Big Kid's reasons for being suspect of Bill's loyalty are different than the rest of the world's.
Socks has inspired a fascination with other presidential pets, and he's in the process of making a list of animals that have lived at the White House. He is up to the original George Bush. So far, the only pet halfway as cool as Socks was Andrew Jackson's parrot, who apparently cursed so rudely and often that it had to be removed from Jackson's funeral. It is his other favorite, but hasn't inspired the want of a parrot or anything. Thank goodness.
I love cats. I'm glad my boy loves cats. I'm glad he's young enough that this is what occupies his mind and time--but I'm also slightly concerned about all of the brain power dedicated to presidential pets. Everyone thinks it must be so fascinating to have a child with such a high IQ. Sometimes it is...but sometimes you're stuck talking a lot about historically significant cats.