A few weeks ago I wrote a post about people dressing their cats up in elaborate outfits for Instagram, and how it’s exploitive of the kitties. At other random times I’ve opined that most cats want nothing to do with clothes or accessories, and it’s cruel to treat them like dolls and play dress up with them.
My opinion on the subject hasn’t changed, but now I’m a hypocrite.
While my family was exchanging Christmas gifts, I was handed a small present while my brother and his wife explained that the gift was from my 8-year-old niece, who had found it and picked it out herself.
I opened it, revealing a pair of tiny “cat sunglasses,” with the packaging in Russian and a photo of a cat rocking the shades. (My brother works for the State Department and has been living in a former Soviet bloc country for the past year and a half. It’s a downgrade from Tokyo, but hey, you can’t get amazing assignments every time.)
“They’re for Buddy,” my niece said, beaming.
At the time I was thinking there’s no way in hell Bud would wear them, and I wasn’t going to try…but I knew my niece would expect to see a photo of him rocking the shades.
And so, after a bit of negotiation and the promise of tasty treats as a reward, Buddy agreed to wear the glasses just long enough for me to snap a few photos. I didn’t press my luck.
Here’s the glorious result:
Credit to the little guy for posing and being a good sport. I wouldn’t have forced him to wear the glasses if he freaked out, and he didn’t seem to mind. He was curious and interested in biting the glasses more than anything.
Bud was rewarded handsomely in moist chicken cat treats and gobbled them down happily. A short while later he climbed up onto me, laid his head on my chest and started purring, so I’m as sure as I can be that he wasn’t traumatized by his brief fashion show.
So there you have it. I’m a hypocrite.
As for my niece, she loved the photo. Her and her younger sister are very fond of Buddy, and he’s started to warm to them as well, even if he remains cautious and well aware that they are young humans who haven’t totally developed fine motor control.
Besides, they have incentive to be extra nice to Bud. LOL Dolls are all the rage among young kids now, and I’ve told my nieces that Buddy’s got a huge collection of them, as well as a vast assortment of Pokemon. If they’re good to Buddy, he just might let them play with his toys…