My kids love to read this book, so I thought I would read it for them today. Why Every Kid Needs a Cat! by Michael Davis is a fun story with a lesson you can all use.
In the story we are introduced to Buddy, a shy cat with a nasty temper, but he loves his mother, Diane, and wants to please her. So his brother, Dandy, is sent away by his father, Mr. Zayman. Mr. Zayman tells Dandy that his family will not leave until all the cats are gone.
When Buddy is six years old, he has an accident and his skin falls off. So his father has him put on “cat furniture” so he can sleep in his own box. It is wonderful for the cat. But it is a mess for the kids.
The children use the cat litter boxes, but Dandy always ends up cleaning up everything. After Dandy gets kicked out of the house, Mr. Zayman finds Mr. Zain’s letter and sets out to find a new family. Then there is the matter of all the plastic bags Mr. Zain has used to fill his litter box with wet cat poop. They have to do this every day, and each bag is made out of some kind of plastic.
After the whole family moves into the cat house, they need to clean the trash cans in the backyard. For this, they take the bags to the lake to wash it all up. It becomes an organic waste problem as the other families look on, thinking the Dandies must be bad.
Because they are outside most of the time, they need to clean out the garbage cans to the backyard. There is no yard trash to mix up with their trash. But then, the neighbor’s cat calls them over to the garden. Mr. Zayman hopes he will bring the cat back to the yard so they can continue to clean out the trash cans.
Their family starts the new home in the yard, but the neighbors will not call them over until the Dandies move out. Meanwhile, Buddy goes missing. As the family waits for Buddy to return, the cat will never return.
Kids should learn from this story about their own reasons for becoming parents. Becoming a parent has many lessons, but one of the most important is teaching kids to keep their feelings to themselves. Parents must not punish or humiliate their kids if they make mistakes. Instead, parents must give them the space they need to make the best decision and to share their thoughts with their kids.
It is amazing how adults go through life without saying a word to their kids. They could be learning something from their kids, but instead they are just sitting at home, watching TV, and wishing their grown-ups were not so busy. A parent who says, “I love you” to their kids when they get home from school, or “I’m sorry” when they break a rule, is an example of a good parent. There is nothing wrong with thanking a child for doing something well or letting them know you’re sorry they did something wrong.
If kids are really curious, they might wonder why grown-ups wear suits and ties, eat and live by laws. Parents should explain to them that the human race is a community. They are all part of the same race, and there is no way to separate what is good for the species, and what is good for the parents alone.
Kids may also wonder why so many grown-ups are so jealous of babies. Parents often find it odd that babies and toddlers always want to have everything their own way. Babies, toddlers, and young children always want to be the center of attention, and parents must teach them that it is not a good thing to steal from or annoy the older kids. If parents will do these things for their children, the children will be grateful and will see what it takes to please their parents.