There are things that are all but inevitable, and being bitten is one of them.
Most people begin to engage animals as young children. Usually it’s first a family pet, and when that goes well we venture to the pets of other families, and so on. The law of averages says that the sooner you start keeping company with wild things and the longer you live, the greater the odds it’s going to happen.
Knowing that it is part of life and nearly 100% guaranteed at some point doesn’t make it any easier when it’s your child. A few days ago my daughter was bitten by a cat she absolutely adores, and has practically worshipped the whole two years of her life.
I don’t blame the cat or the child. It just is something that happens. But that instant of pain and confusion was awful, and something I could have gone my whole life without seeing.
Thankfully, I don’t think my child associates the pain she felt with the animal she trusts. It happened so quickly and was not connected to a specific action, and I think she has no idea the cat bit her; in fact, minutes later she was calling after the cat and acting as if nothing had happened. It’s a beautiful thing to watch the very young just move on. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. Or maybe it was two living things who did just fine most of the time but are hardwired to disconnect spontaneously at random intervals forever.
What would the world be like if we could all just move on every time we are bitten?