Thursday, June 01, 2006

At least they haven't eaten the baby...

Yes, I am referring to my cats. My poor, long-suffering, attention-starved, elderly kitties.

This is them usurping the glider and ottoman that my parents thought they purchased for Ethan's feedings and midnight cuddle-fests. They didn't realize (nor did I) that what they were really doing was furnishing my cats with a retirement home. Poor Penny (the ottoman kitty)--she just looks so pathetic lying there. "Fine, kick me out of your room. Forget all about me. Forsake me for that tiny crying, flailing, pooping thing. Sighhhhhhhhhh" (Yes, in my head, she is a Yenta with an accent to boot)

A little background: the cats have been with me for over a decade. I got Abby from an over-all and flannel-shirt wearing farm lady during my senior year of college in Lee, NH and I rescued Penny from the animal shelter in Manchester two years later. I actually fought off an entire family of whiney children to get her after seeing her on the humane society's public access tv show (Oprah was in commercials).

Until I gave birth to an actual human baby, I truly believed that I loved these cats as much as a mother loves her child. I called them "my babies" and I spoiled them rotten. Husband likes to tell people that if it ever came down to him giving me a "It's me or the cats" ultimatum, the cats would be curled up on his side of the bed while it still had his indentation on it. And while that is totally untrue, I can't blame him for thinking that--I do love the cats to distraction.

And I still do. But I can't afford the time, the space or the energy right now. Abby used to spend her day curled up at my side (in the days of the bedrest); but now Ethan is curled up in that same location. Abby is currently pretending she is happy at the foot of the bed, poor thing; and she is NOT a foot of the bed type of cat--she is far too diva for that business.

With the warm weather, Penny has high-tailed it to the basement which is her favorite summer hang out. Thank goodness she loves lurking down there while it is sweltering out, or I would feel such guilt--imagine, a cat banished to the basement and me to blame...I don't think I could live with it. But if she's happy down there, I'm happy for her to be there.

There is much tentative walking around and sniffing of the baby, but thus far they have agreed to leave him pretty much alone. He is smaller than them and therefore poses little real threat. Plus, they never know when he will cry, SneezeScream or otherwise freak them out with his sudden noises and movements. Cats don't really like surprises, I've found, despite the whole curiosity adage. For a few nights I slept with one eye open and my ears on high alert to be sure they didn't try to jump into the pack n' play and take a nap on my son's head or lick him to death with their germy little cat-food smelling tongues (I love them, but I am a realist--they have some nasty cat breath). They have attempted neither and I am beginning to believe they will not show any ill-will towards him until he is able to grab hold of their tails and give them a good yank. Then he's on his own...

Now, that's not to say there's been no feline-related drama with the arrival of Mr.Ethan. While I was in the hospital for the several days following my c-section, the cats apparently decided that rather than take the time to develop the gift of speech and express their displeasure verbally, they would simply pee everywhere and leave the occassional poop lying around in pooping-restricted zone (that would be anywhere but the litter box, obviously). Fortunately for me, I was laid up in a hospital bed, counting the seconds until my next dose of pain relief, so someone else got to clean up those joyful expressions of feline frustration (thanks, Husband and Mom).

I feared the rebellion would continue when we returned home, but it seems that as long as I am here, regardless of the "baggage" I am towing (and I use the term baggage from their perspective, not mine), they are content.


Amy said...

Awwww kitties! Ours don't feel the love so much anymore either. I feel like I spend all day saying "No, don't, stop, LUCY!"

And yesterday's pix were so cute! He's adorable.

miraclebaby said...

I love kitties... unfortunately for me we don't have one right now for my bedresting pleasure. We want to start with a kitten, but could you imagine trying to litterbox train a kitten while on bedrest??? I think not.

Michelle said...

Yeah, my poor cat didn't know what to do when we brought our first daughter home. The cat would sit by the edge of the pack and play and just STARE at the baby... never tried to hurt hur, but Mary (the cat) didn't seem to know what to make of this new little 'intruder'! But cats adjust. When we brought home daughter #2 Mary didn't even glace at her. She knew her days of being the only lap occupant were finished. :)