A bullying ‘game’ between cat and mouse this morning got me thinking about the issue of bullying in schools.
You see, my youngest cat Angelica (don’t be fooled by the name) brought home a live mouse. I don’t blame her of course, she’s a cat, that’s what they do. Needless to say, a long hour was spent negotiating the release of the mouse I came to name Cyril. Thankfully I succeeded, and he escaped unharmed.
You can only imagine my dismay, when a few hours later I discovered them both in the garden, engaged in yet another game of Tom and Jerry!
No amount of Dreamies could lure Angelica away this time. And being in the garden it was impossible to separate cat from mouse. Luckily, Cyril turned out to be plucky chap and did eventually escape her grasp, though not without enduring a fair amount of ‘paw play’.
Although I knew Cyril had escaped his tormentor, I didn’t know if this time he was unharmed. I felt a little guilty. I had wrongly believed that I had solved his nightmare earlier that day but hadn’t.
It was a polite reminder for me that bullying is a complex issue. Like cats, bullies are clever but also like cats, bullies have a need. It is our responsibility as adults to help both ‘cat’ and ‘mouse’ in the bullying game because having a word or keeping an eye isn’t nearly enough.