A brief disclaimer: I’ve been wanting to write on the following topic but have hesitated because I knew that it’d probably elicit negative reaction from some claiming there’s a vast difference between being in charge of the daily needs of a pet, as opposed to the daily needs of a tiny human. I know these two are vastly different and parents of tiny humans have all my respect. At the same time, when it comes to caring for tiny humans and pets, I feel like there are some things that are more similar than you’d think.
1. We Both Have to Wipe Butts!! If you don’t have a cat, you may not realize that sometimes, especially with older cats like ours, poop can get stuck in the fur at times. This will cause the cat in question to want to do the “Booty Scrape”; a disgusting dance move invented by cats where they’ll scrap their butt along the floor or carpet in an attempt to rid their backside of poo. If we are lucky enough to see the stuck grossness on their backside before they engage in the above dance, we are tasked with trying to wipe it off their butts before they hit the floor. This task is made all the more difficult because, A: poop clings to fur like glue and, B: cats don’t appreciate when someone is trying to wipe their butt and often attempt to run away. Because of this, it’s sometimes best to try to pick up the running cat and quickly swipe their butt. If the cat is averse to being held, it may take multiple people to administer the “Take Down.” But be on guard-cats, unlike babies, have sharp claws and teeth and will use them if they feel threatened.
2. Poop STINKS No Matter the Species it Comes From! As I type this entry, my oldest cat decided she needed to take a dump. It doesn’t matter that the litter box is far removed from where I currently sit. The scent of fresh poo, yes it has been changed recently, is wafting over my nose and I just pray it goes away soon–on second thought I may need to finish this outside, it’s a nice day anyway. It’s especially embarassing when she decides to poo when company is over…..which leads me to…..
3. Toddlers and Cats Can Act Inappropriately When Company Calls! Whether it’s busting out baby’s first swear word or taking a dump when company is over, toddlers and cats can behave less than politely at the most inappropriate times. Case in point, we had a visit with one of our lovely neighbors last year. She was wearing a dress and our oldest–and most social–cat proceeded to come up to her and walk under the gap in her skirt, sits down and…I can hardly type this next part….LOOKS UP curiously!! To ratchet up the crazy, she did this again the next time this sweet neighbor came calling. Now when company comes over, we encourage all visitors to wear pants as opposed to skirts and dresses. If they insist on wearing a dress or skirt, they are seated quickly.
4. They Want Attention at 3am! Out of boredom, needing more food or maybe having a nightmare–I guess it’s possible–our furbabies can need attention at a moment’s notice…..at 3am. I remember once our oldest woke me up early, which usually means she needs food. But the bowl was full. She also had plenty of water. So I went back to bed. 2 hours later, she woke me up again. Same drill, still had food, water…etc. So I picked her up, rocked her back and forth, and sang her a song (at this point I realize how completely crazy I sound, but I really wanted to figure out what she needed so I could go back to sleep). When she woke me up again, you guessed it, 2 hours later, I opened the door and let her into our room. My husband had to get up early for work, so I made sure she didn’t wake him up as she came in. She jumped on the bed, walked over to my soundly sleeping husband, looked at him, then quickly turned, jumped off the bed and out of the bedroom. Turns out, she just wanted to see daddy! She didn’t bother me the rest of the night–or what was left of it.
5. They Have Unexplained Anxiety to Random Objects! Cats’ fear of vacuums has become a universal fact. For unexplained reasons, the noise perhaps, vacuums make cats scurry to the next room to seek shelter. But you can add to this list of feared items, anyone that comes to the door–including their own cat parents, shaking open garbage bags, house alarms, running water and riding in cars. Looking over this list, it seems noise aversion is prevalent. Still haven’t figured out the car thing though.
6. They Bring SO Much Joy and Laughter to our House! This weekend I came home from work and took my shoes and leg braces off. Our oldest came into the room and started pheromoning my braces. She really got into it to, rolling around on them. She does this often and I’m just waiting for the day that she gets her fur stuck on the velcro used to fasten them. At one point she stuck her entire head inside one, wearing it almost like a hat! She also thought my bottle of dry shampoo was the best toy ever last night, perfect size and shape for practicing barrel rolls. Then there are the times that both cats will run as fast as they can through the house, for no apparent reason. This spectacle is quite entertaining, unless they get the urge at 3am.
Whether we care for cats, dogs or tiny humans, I think we can all agree that it can be difficult at times, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Both paths are noble and selfless.
Remember you are never alone.
*realistic cat meme appears courtesy of: https://catmacros.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/youre-not-my-real-mom/