Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Animals and Babies

There's a lot of talk going on lately about getting pets ready for new babies.

Since we have cats, I pay attention.

Meet the cats:

This is Polly. She is three years and a few months old, she weighs in at a "whopping" elevenish pounds, and that feather-thing is HERS. It's her security toy and I promise I did not pose this picture. I wake up sometime to discover she brought it to sleep with her on my knees.

This is Kipper. Her "big" brother. And by big I mean he's coming in at about 18 pounds. He doesn't have a feather, but he does have a sense of presence. And he has no hesitation about crawling onto whatever new baby item we've brought home to make sure that it smells like him - just in case anyone is under the impression that someone else might own the house.

They have their routines - preferred spots in which to sleep, preferred laps, mealtimes, etc. They have distinct personalities and inside our home neither one of them is viscous or threatening. (Unless you are not me and you mess with Kipper's ears. He'll take your hand off.)

So...aside from bringing in the baby stuff in a timely fashion so that they can claim it as their own, we have decided that best preparation for a baby is to be as irritating as possible.

Because babies are not gentle. They grab when they should pet. The pull when they should let go. They drool in a way that will probably make my cats shudder.

When we are forcing our cats to play, snuggle, or be carried, Polly will jump away and groom a bit before going to another room. I'm completely ok with this reaction.

Kipper, will grumble while allowing you to do whatever it is you're doing. Steve likes to hold him in the cradle position and jiggle him. It's like Kipper-Skat.

My preferred method of irritating (and probably more accurate when a baby/toddler is involved) is to swoop in when there's exposed belly and rub and rub and rub. I just can't help myself.

Look at that Belly! Could you help yourself? No. And what is his response? He rolls on his tummy and gives me this look:

"Human. You are irritating me."

Mission: Accomplished.

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