When Baby Makes Five - Part 2 by Jessica McColl
Oh you will hear them all when you are pregnant, every terrifying cat myth conceived in the mind and passed down through generations by a million old wives. It really gets my goat, cats end up with a one way ticket to the pound/ shelter over this.
However, I can empathise.
Some deep, biological impulse kicks in when you are pregnant, and you will do anything, absolutely anything to keep your new little progeny safe. This does not mean giving up your cat. I wish more prospective parents realised this. I have even read baby books where they suggest giving your cat to a friend to mind for the first year * face palm*.
So here are my two favourite myths debunked, from my own first hand experience.
CATS STEAL THE BABIES BREATH
Everyone reminded me of this. If I had one dollar for everytime someone said this to me, I would be writing this post on the back of a postcard from my chalet in the South of France.
I never suspected my cats to be the breath sucking demons they were pitched to be by my well meaning grandmother, however I still brought the ‘cat net’ which covered Young Miss’ bassinet.
Let me just say that my cats would have rathered been fried alive than sleep next to the unpredictable, sqauling, ticking time bomb that resided in the bassinet. They will sacrifice the warmth of another human body for peace and quiet.
Oh, and as for smelling the milk on the baby’s breath, puuhleeaase. My cats don’t drink milk. Neither should yours. It is not good for them.
Why would they be jealous, pray tell? You read PART I, I prepared them for months and months before Young Miss even arrived. Apart from having a new housemate [ which came with the added benefit of their much adored Mistress was on leave from work], the rules were still the same. They still got attention, still got spoilt, still are included, still are members of our family.
Seems obvious to me.
Now baby has turned into toddler. She simply adores the cats. Macy, being the wiser of the two keeps a safe distance. She bears no malice towards Young Miss, but is not interested in being friends just yet. She also doesn’t really like my husband, but don’t tell him that.
Mr Bean on the other hand, is thrilled right down to his little white socks to have another person to shower him with affection. We constantly reminded her to ‘be gentle,’ and ‘Bean’ [as she calls him] as has been exceptionally patient while learns, letting out the tiniest of mews to let her know what he doesn’t like. He is also thrilled at the prospect that Young Miss tries to feed him everything she has as she exclaims ‘share.’ My cats have never been allowed table scraps, trying to keep it this way is… challenging.
Some time after her first birthday, I took Young Miss to the Cat Protection Society of NSW to meet the shelter cats. I want to instill within her a sense of compassion and stewardship, so I am starting young.
Now let’s all have a good laugh, share your best cat myth below!