A strange but funny thing has been happening with Re.
Since he is growing up with two feline siblings, he has learned to follow his instincts about animals. So while he routinely pets our two, hugs them, sometimes rolls over with them, he has been taught that when in company of a new animal, he must play it by ear.
If he likes the animal (which is all the time), and the animal is accessible, he is allowed to gently pet, and step back. If the animal likes him back, or asks for more, he is allowed to pet some more. Till they form a bond or have had enough of each other, whichever happens first.
I find that he applies the same rule to babies and toddlers as well. Yesterday, when I took him to our new favourite park, I saw something that cracked me up. Re was touching every child that caught his fancy on his/her cheek. Following that, if the child didn’t object, he would smile, crinkling his eyes in glee, clap his hands and then rub them on the belly or the shoulder as if to say, “I like you” or “Will you make frandship with me?”
It worked. Perhaps it must have come as a surprise to the said children to be touched thus by another child, considering most of them are busy trying not to be pushed or shoved around.
By the time we left the park, Re had four new friends. He was also richer by a few grapes (that a girl fed him) and a biscuit (from another boy). And I was grinning from ear to ear.