Cats in the Cradle... and the Stroller and the Crib and the Swing...

There are many old wives’ tales about cats and babies; none are very positive. “They’ll suck the breath out of the baby!” “They’ll smother them licking the milk from their lips!” But I don't recall hearing anything about, "They'll claim the changing pad for afternoon naps." And yet, that's what we're dealing with.

From the beginning, I wasn't concerned how our three boys, Chuckles, Ricky and Louie, would react once we brought our daughter home, but I was certainly curious. Chuckles is highly self-assured and confident, so I knew he wouldn't be too put out, providing his feedings and cuddlings weren't drastically altered. And despite his size and indifferent attitude, he's great with kittens, so I thought maybe he'd be intrigued with the baby.

Ricky is our sweetest and nicest cat. He's a lovebug who never raises a paw, even in self-defense, and would ideally like to live on my husband's shoulder. I knew we'd have no issues with him. Louie is our Egyptian and he's semi-parapalegic (though he doesn't realize it so we're not telling him). He doesn't like strangers, so I knew it may take years for him to adjust to the baby. Maybe he'll come around for her high school graduation.

But over these last ten months, Chuckles and Ricky have proven themselves very patient with the baby; Ricky even allows her to “pet” him, which typically results in her having a handful of his fur. Chuckles will allow some supervised petting (we’re trying to teach her to pet with the back of her hand; progress is slow), whereas Louie remains at a safe distance, plus six feet. I think as her mobility and speed increases, Chuckles and Ricky will adjust quickly and will soon learn the benefits of staying in the "Louie zone"; just out of reach. So, we definitely have no smothering concerns, however this "possession is nine-tenths of the law" attitude may need to be addressed post-haste. In the meantime, I'm going to look into a feline forklift.