Dsd kicked our cat

(26 Posts)
Tittypulumpcious Tue 16-Jul-13 21:01:07

I'm furious! Dsd is 10 she knows its wrong, the cat brought in a mouse (very much alive and unharmed) together we took it a few miles away to a field.

When we got back she sat on a chair and as our cat passed by she gave her a kick. Dh told her off straight away but it worries me that she has done this. I understand she didn't like a mouse being brought in but I cannot understand why she would want to harm our cat!

wwyd?

brdgrl Tue 16-Jul-13 22:29:39

If any kid in my house hurt or seriously tried to hurt any animal, especially a family pet, they'd be punished. Not just told off, either.

Was it a real kick, aimed to hit and hurt?
Does she strike out at other times, or was this a completely out-of-character event?

Tittypulumpcious Wed 17-Jul-13 10:22:48

It was a real kick yes, aimed squarely at our cat as punishment for bringing a mouse in. Dh does not smack dsd and I certainly never would so she hasn't learnt to hit or kick from us!

Dh gave her a very severe telling off and I explained that while we don't like what our cats do its in their nature and they do not deserve to be punished for doing something so natural.

I'm worried now about her being alone with either of them, the cat she kicked is tiny she's not a lap cat and shows rare affection the other one tolerates her picking him up. I've told her on several occasions about throwing their toys directly at their faces and playing rough. Am I being to precious about our cats? In any case treating any animal badly is very wrong.

catsmother Wed 17-Jul-13 11:33:58

Of course you're not being too precious. Being kind to and respectful of animals should be well within the remit of a 10 year old and at that age, they should also understand that the cat did nothing wrong in catching a mouse. Kicking it after the event - or even at the time - teaches the animal nothing about what it did, it just wouldn't make the connection, and is simply cruel.

If she's prone to "playing rough" - which I often think is somewhat of a euphemism for being nasty - then I suspect the mouse was just an excuse to be nastier even more.

I don't know what you can do really apart from being vigilant and coming down hard on any of this sort of behaviour. It did occur to me that she might be jealous of the cats but of course that doesn't excuse what she did.

Kaluki Wed 17-Jul-13 11:58:27

DSD was so horrible to our cat I had to give her away to a neighbour.
She teased him so much one day that he scratched her. He hated having his tummy touched but she kept on and on doing it and kept trying to pick him up despite us telling her not to. After the scratch incident she kept chasing him and shouting at him and the poor thing got so traumatised that he started weeing everywhere. My neighbour loved him and he ended up spending so much time there that we let her keep him. About a year later he got run over. I felt so bad because her house is nearer the main road than ours.
Nip it in the bud now OP. Children should be taught to respect animals.

Tittypulumpcious Wed 17-Jul-13 12:11:32

She must have known it was wrong as she sulked after she'd been told off. She was over tired from a weekend at her mums and while that is not an excuse she does act out alot more when she's tired. She also gets very upset when our cats bring in these presents.

What would be a suitable punishment for this should it happen again? which I really really hope it doesn't I hope she has learnt her lesson.

Morgause Wed 17-Jul-13 12:14:56

Maybe she was upset at seeing the cat trying to kill another creature? Perhaps as upset as you were to see her kick the cat.

It may only be nature for cats to kill but it's horrible, which is why I'd never have one.

Tittypulumpcious Wed 17-Jul-13 12:24:21

Morguase, I completely agree none of us like seeing our cats bring in animals I don't care how natural it's meant to be. They have never brought in anything dead they are always very much alive and surprisingly unharmed.

I know she gets upset I do too but I would never be cruel to any animal. She must know it's wrong?

Petal02 Wed 17-Jul-13 13:42:11

Maybe she was upset at seeing the cat trying to kill another creature? Perhaps as upset as you were to see her kick the cat

Morgause, I really hope I’ve misinterpreted your post, but it seems you’re suggesting a cat’s natural killer instinct somehow excuses the girl’s behaviour?

catsmother Wed 17-Jul-13 14:30:36

I'm a lifelong cat owner and when I was a child I used to get upset at the small creatures our family cat killed (or when my dad ran over a rabbit by accident, or when we had a bird fly into our patio window and die etc etc) ...... however, although back then I was rather squeamish about such things, my parents had explained (as I'm sure the OP and her DH have) how natural hunting in a cat is, and how it was entirely instinctive and nothing to do with a cat being "cruel" or whatever. By 10 I certainly understood this and though I'd shoo away birds if I saw the cat stalking them, and screech for my mum when it caught something I'd never have "punished" the cat in retaliation.

In this case, the mouse escaped alive so hardly that "horrible" and definitely no excuse for animal cruelty which was deliberate and presumably intended to hurt the cat. Conversely, I'm sure the cat didn't think "right, I'm going to terrorise that mouse" - it would have simply seen its movements and its instincts would have taken over.

I wonder what excuse can be dragged up for throwing things directly in the cats' faces, or "playing rough" with them ? hmm

Spiteful - arguably cruel - behaviour to animals is a very unpleasant trait (with the exception of very young children obviously who are too emotionally immature to understand exactly what they're doing) and IME, people who do this often aren't very nice to fellow humans either.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 14:36:33

I don't have a step daughter and I'd be furious if anyone kicked my cat but maybe there is something upsetting her other than all of it? Sometimes people are angry and upset when other things are going on. Could you try being very gentle with the cat whilst being very gentle with her?

Petal02 Wed 17-Jul-13 14:44:42

Even if something else is upsetting her, there is NEVER any excuse for cruelty towards animals. And at her age, she's old enough to know that you don't kick cats. Or any other animal.

Tittypulumpcious Wed 17-Jul-13 14:51:12

She had been told off by her mum for being rude and naughty so yes she was already upset. She becomes antagonistic when she's tired (put her to bed earlier please mum!) however this is no excuse to harm our cat.

There is never any excuse to harm another animal or person just because you're angry. Dh says he's going to speak to her again, I don't feel just telling her off was enough but it's too late now to do anything else.

I just hope she gets it and doesn't do this again.

Morgause Wed 17-Jul-13 15:14:57

Morgause, I really hope I’ve misinterpreted your post, but it seems you’re suggesting a cat’s natural killer instinct somehow excuses the girl’s behaviour?

Not an excuse - a reason, different thing altogether. Maybe she thought the cat should be punished, she's only a kid, and maybe sees things in black and white.

catsmother Wed 17-Jul-13 15:15:38

Perhaps you and DH should decide on a suitable punishment now for if she does something cruel again - and then when DH speaks to her, emphasising how disappointed he is in her and laying it on thick about how unpleasant it is to hurt something/someone smaller than yourself etc., he can also warn her that similar behaviour in the future will result in her being punished and she's on her last warning - and then it must be seen through so she knows how serious it is. Maybe confiscating something precious she cares about for a couple of days ?

Tittypulumpcious Wed 17-Jul-13 15:20:45

Good idea Catsmother, thank you.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 15:25:28

There is no excuse for hurting or kicking an animal.

I think that she did that might mean she's very angry about things or something.

I'd suggest you keep the poor cat away from her so it can't be hurt and talk to her or watch and listen to see what might be the problem.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 15:27:13

I'm not sure 'punishing' is the way to go, really.

ChippingInHopHopHop Wed 17-Jul-13 15:36:07

Punishment doesn't exclude talking/finding out what might be upsetting her... it may just be fairly normal pre pubescent hormonal crap & being over tired... otoh it might be something else?! Talk to her if you can, see if she will open up about also punish her - it is not too late this time. She is 10, not 2. She needs to learn that no matter what else is going on in your life, it's not acceptable to kick the cat. I'd put her on dishes for the week or something else she would hate doing rather than taking something off of her.

Tittypulumpcious Wed 17-Jul-13 15:42:21

The only thing she was upset about was that she'd had 2 late nights at mums was tired and her mum lost the plot with her when she became rude and demanding. Dh picked up dsd and got the full story. Dsd was sulky and when she's like this will look for any reason to act out.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 15:47:23

Chipping, punishment = punishment. It's a word that most people understand and i think if you mess about with words you are getting into polition or marketing territory. And none of us want that, do we?

She is 10, not 2, and has had 10 years of living.

DD is only 3 and she is severely punished for any deliberate mistreatment of the animals. We do not tolerate any form of animal cruelty. Our cats put up with an awful lot from her as she loves cuddling them and carrying them around. Deliberate harm is a different thing all together.

Perhaps you could have a discussion about why cats bring their prey home, that it is a way of showing they are part of the household. You may want to explain to her that the best thing to do when a cat brings in a present, is to make a fuss of the cat and act grateful for the present, otherwise they will think you are angry and get you an even bigger present.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 16:18:53

Do not kick your cat.

Do not kick your daughter, step or otherwise.

Hurt things (all of us) need looking after.

Tittypulumpcious Wed 24-Jul-13 20:56:45

Dh has spoken to dsd..apparently she said she thought she was playing. Oh that's alright then. angry

I said if she honestly thinks kicking an animal is playing she's got problems and if he's blind enough to believe it then so does he!

brdgrl Wed 24-Jul-13 21:46:27

I hope you/DH give her some very clear warning about what will happen the next time she "plays" like that!

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