The First Lie

I remember the first lie I ever told my parents. I also remember exactly how bad the lie was. I had a cat from the time I was very young, barely walking, and she was pretty much my favorite thing in the world – outside of Grandma and Grandpa of course. My parents love to tell stories about how they wondered if my cat knew she even had legs, seeing as I would carry her around wherever I went. From what I hear, as a young child, I also didn’t carry her in the most comfortable of fashions – I think she was situated in the crook of my elbow most of the time. Regardless, this cat and I grew up together and she was my friend through and through. Naturally, this means I felt that my cat liked all the activities I liked – including swimming.  One nice warm day I had my blue plastic little kid pool set up in the backyard, it also had a teeny-tiny little slid built in.  I loved sliding down that slide and splashing into the water and I assumed my cat would enjoy the same. If I think really hard I’m pretty sure I had already tested my cats love of water, but didn’t believe that she really wasn’t a fan. So one afternoon I remember stalking her around the backyard (I’m pretty sure she knew what I was trying) and then picking her up and telling her she was going to go down the slide. I determinedly made my way over to the pool with my fluffy gray cat trying to get away. I put her on top of the slide, held onto her back, and then down she slid… all of her own accord. At least this is what I told my parents. I have the clearest memory to this day of my poor cat scrambling to get out of that pool, sopping wet (she had long hair too), pulling herself over the side, and then running directly to the space where she could crawl under the house – away from me. I instantly became scared because I thought I heard my parents previously mentioning other animals getting under the house, and started screaming because I thought she was going to die. My parents came running and asked me what happened. I remember telling them that my cat went down the slide and then ran under the house. My mom looked right at me and asked if she went in the pool by herself, or if I maybe put her in the pool. I very, in what I believe was my awesome 3 year old self memory, coolly told her that I didn’t do it and it was her choice, that she did it all on her own. When I got to the age where I was able to understand when people were lying, I remember how lame my little toddler lie must have been at the time. However, my parents, instead of getting mad at me or making me confess to what I had done, simply let the cat live under the house for a few days; I’m fairly certain this was my lesson. When my cat finally emerged it was with unyielding loyalty because she was still attached to my side every day – we could learn a lot from pets. I’m probably also thinking there were likely other days, that I’m still blocking out of my mind, when I also tried to convince her she loved the water as much as myself, but I don’t think I ever made her go “swimming” again. I find it entertaining thinking back to the first lie we ever told and trying to see the lesson we learned from that – which is to be honest, even if it’s admitting you did something wrong; the entertaining piece being that some people never learn.

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