On cats and babies

Back when I was pregnant, I wrote about how I was worried about how the cats would take to having a baby in the house.

When we brought A home from the hospital, I was expecting some sort of grand reaction on the cat’s part. A little commotion, maybe, a lot of smelling, definitely. What we got was anticlimatic. Neither cat really cared. John had gone home a couple times during the hospital stay to feed the cats, check the mail, take a shower or nap, etc, and they were more curious about the new smells then than they were when A came home. Suki, our big cat, showed absolute indifference. She never even approached the car seat. Harleaux, who is more curious, came up and sniffed a bit, and walked away.

Neither one came up to the baby right away after we took her out of the car seat. They just went about their business like, “Whatevs, nothing major happening, I’m just gonna clean myself on the back of the couch, and then take a nap. Business as usual.”

Since then, both have shown slightly more interest in her, but not much. Every now and then one will come up and sniff A, usually when she’s nursing, probably because she’s quiet and still. Harleaux is still much more interested in A’s stuff than she is in A herself. She watches A’s swing intently while it’s in use, and for a while I kept finding Harleaux napping in the crib.

Now that A is much more engaged in the world around her, I catch her looking at the cats occasionally. Every now and then, when one of the cats is sleeping, I’ll sit down next to it and let A “pet” the cat, saying things like, “Soft kitty, nice kitty,” in an effort to introduce them to each other more fully.

I know when she’s bigger and mobile, she will be going after the cats none stop, and then I will never know peace again, so I guess I should just enjoy this era of mutual disinterest while it lasts.

*****

So, I drafted this post last week, and since then Harleaux has taken a definite interest in A. She’s been decidedly clingy and dependent the past few days, always wanting to be with whoever has baby. She has been paying more and more attention to her. In addition to just sniffing her, she is even laying next to her in our bed. This morning, John was holding A, and Harleaux decided she needed to be held too, and climbed up on his chest. I keep saying she’s jealous, but she hasn’t acted out in anyway, so maybe it’s more of an intense curiosity that has just formed because she’s finally realized this weird looking kitten is sticking around for good. I’ve been trying to get a picture because it is SO CUTE when they nap next to each other, but I never seem to be fast enough.

I hope they’ll be best pals when A is older.

3 thoughts on “On cats and babies

  1. Same thing here with our brood of four cats. I even did all kinds of research, played recordings of babies crying, and put cardboard with tape so they wouldn’t get in the crib or bassinet. So far, they just smell him and his things, although the two Siamese have tried to hitch rides in the under storage of the stroller a few times.

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