Wednesday, March 23, 2011

He knows. I had a feeling, but I wasn't sure until we went to dinner at a friend's house a few weeks ago and her dog could not stop licking and rubbing my belly. It's so funny, what our animals can sense. The cat's been different these past few months and it makes me well aware that something is up. All of a sudden, he thinks activities such as climbing on the kitchen counter, drinking out of the toilet and eating our plants are OK. I think it's safe to say that these are habits that a kitten or even a cat of just a few years might develop, but when we're talking about a 12-year old cat who has NEVER done these sorts of things, you know something just isn't quite right. I almost get the impression that he's dying for every bit of our attention (even if it's bad attention), just like a little kid who knows that any day now his mom will be walking through the door with his brand new little brother or sister. He's scared of being replaced or forgotten, and it breaks my heart. Of course, those things will never happen, but how do I make that clear to him? How do I explain that we are adding to our family and not replacing anything or anyone? He's a part of this process too. I've made an effort to take more naps with him, pick him up more frequently, and give him more neck kisses. I'm hoping this brings him some level of comfort. I guess only time will tell.

Did you bring a new baby home to a pet? What was their reaction? Were you as nervous about it as I am?


  1. Our four year old cat is also suddenly acting like kitten too - racing back and forth down the hall and being as adorable as can be chasing his own tail as we get ready for bed. I also think it is because he knows. When he isn't being playful he is snuggled up on or near my belly.

    I wasn't worried about bringing home the baby until he started not just sleeping near my head but on it. Are we going to have to separate him from us for a while? He will be so sad.

  2. Our two cats were very settled in their ways and were definitely the babies before we brought our daughter home. They were used to unlimited lap time. I hated the thought of hurting their feelings.

    When Lila came home, the cats kind of disappeared for about 5 months....they were around, but aloof....rarely settling down to nap in whatever room you were in...

    Around 5 -6 months, they suddenly reappeared and started loving on her. They couldn't get enough of her! They would seek her out and sit on either side of her...or curl up on her feet when I laid her down for a nap...they let her sit on them, hug and kiss them, read them books and look in their ears. It is the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

    She is 2 now and they still stick to her like glue!

  3. My cats were five and older when I had my daughter. I was very concerned how they would react. They are all rescues and extremely attached to me as "their person." I'd like to say things went smoothly, but they didn't. They were traumatized by this constantly crying thing in their previously peaceful home. Didn't help things when less than a year after, we all moved 3 hours away.

    My daughter is five now. She tries so hard to love on them. Only one has ever come around. She just moves too suddenly and is too loud for their comfort levels.

    I give them as much one-on-one time as I can. My daughter and I try to keep them as happy and at peace as we can while still living our lives.

    They're not unhappy. We love them like crazy. They're just not as happy as I'd like them to be. Carry huge amount of guilt about the situation. You can only do what you can do...

  4. oh my god i have so much to say about this. how have we never discussed this?

    i love how every pregnant woman blog seems to have a cat anxiety post. i have been drafting one in my head now for MONTHS but i can't narrow down my issues on the matter.

    instead of going into the insanity, i will just say how much beth's comment is reassuring, while rosemarie's freaks me THE FUCK OUT.


  5. I don't have any children but have heard good success stories about bringing baby smells and sounds into the house well before you bring the actual baby home. Play some clips of crying babies, let the dogs/cats smell the baby wipes or diapers or whatever, basically introduce them to the baby stuff slowly so it's not such a shock when this new little person is around. And letting the baby and dogs/cats interact from the start (well supervised, of course) helps keep the animals from feeling isolated. Those animals are our babies too! :)

  6. this made me want to cry a little. <3

  7. As long as you're still giving your cat attention and don't ignore him the moment baby comes home, then you'll be fine. What's bad is worrying and treating the cat differently and cutting the cat off from everything. You just have to give him lovins and include him in your new life with new baby.