Fun Family Milestones……

Today our kitten Riley turns 4 months old. And over the weekend we celebrated his adoption with a party.

No, I’m serious.

And we went all out. I’m talkin’ “It’s a boy” banner outside our house, balloons flapping on our porch and blue gum cigars given out as party favors.

Guys, we even had a cake made into the shape of a litter box. **cue gasps of horror and surprise**

This was a risk and confused the guest of honor at one point. Seriously, we almost had an embarrassing, therapy-inducing incident.

At least it would have made a great blog! 😛

Here are a couple peeks into Riley’s adoption shower:


(Off topic-I’m trying a new way to display photos on my blog. Let me know if you like it this way  or should I go back to the old way?)

We all had a BLAST and Riley enjoyed meeting everyone (we had about 10 guests show up). And now days later, our house is alive with sounds of jingles and beeps and boops from all the new toys Riley has!! (Who knew a cat nip toy is supposed to make noise?!!) These toys are definitely appreciated, especially when Riley is running around playing with them at 3am.

Thanks, guys! 😛

 

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Rebuttal to Little Things Sarah Delgado: On the Definition of Parenting

A couple housekeeping items today before we get into it:

1. Yes, I realize today is Friday and I normally do a funny/stress free post about something completely stupid…..I promise the stupid is coming tomorrow or Sunday. 😀 😛 LOL!!

This piece crammed itself into my already full brain and I had to get it out to relieve some of the pressure. It’s also on a topic that I am passionate about and want to change the way we view childlessness……with that said…..

2. This post is a rebuttal to an article I read on the Little Things web page. The original piece can be found here.


Dear Sarah, first of all I want to offer my empathy. You seem pretty stressed out and overwhelmed. But you are in luck! Although I don’t have human children, I DO work in childcare. And I can come over anytime you need a date night or just a nap. 😉

I wanted to address some of your 15 claims that somehow prove having a human child is better or vastly different than having a furbaby.

But first let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a 36 year old married mother of 2……cats. Yes, that’s right. My kids have 4 legs and fur. My husband and I have been married for a little over 3 years, and are members of the Childless Not By Choice community.

And adoption and surrogacy are not possibilities for us.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to bring up something so personal to garner sympathy. I just want to bring to light a possible common thread the people you callously addressed in your article are more than likely facing.

And it sucks. You want a human child so badly but you come to the place where you realize you’ll have a new normal for your life and you work hard to accept it.

Then you read an article about how you really aren’t a parent because your kids don’t look like the traditional definition of a child. Even after the author of said article talks about the, “ever more fluid definition of family. Love has so many shapes and I love and honor all of them….”. Until apparently that love trickles down to a mammal with 4 legs and a tail.

Oof!

Now I do realize that you probably don’t realize how much pressure, stress and shame we are put under by society by not being able to reproduce or adopt, but it is very real. And we are all working extremely hard to change society’s mindset. It is getting better, but there is still a long way to go.

Now, about that list of 15 things…..

1. While it is true that dogs and cats age faster than human kids (I’m not even sure why you brought this up, but there it is), the flip side of the coin is that means we will lose our children in our lifetime. And if we keep adopting, this will happen multiple times.

Have you ever had to sit on the bathroom floor holding your cat while she’s having seizures and looking up at you terrified and you are helpless to stop what is happening and pray that you don’t have to put her down? But you do that night because there was nothing else you could have done.

The pain of losing a furbaby that way is something I don’t wish on anybody. And dammit if someone is gonna try to make me feel like less of a mom because the child I watched die in my arms had four legs instead of 2.

3. Hmmmm….So it’s frowned upon to drop your kid off somewhere to have them bathed. Have your kids ever spent the night at a babysitters house (who you paid) and had a bath in the process?? I hate to break it to you, but that my dear is pretty much the same thing. 😉

5. When my husband and I welcome a new furbaby into our house, it’s for keeps. And while in some rare cases re-homing is the only option, that is a last resort and those parents that you describe are in the minority.

6. Part of being Childless Not By Choice also means we’ll never become grandparents of tiny humans. Thanks for hammering that point home.

7. This is almost too horrifying to even respond to. But I’m going to anyway. Those fellow pet parents that I know take way greater care of their furbabies when traveling then simply chucking Fluffy into a bag and stowing him under the seat. If we have to fly, we’ll leave them at a trusted babysitters or drive if we need to bring them along.

8. Speaking of horrifying………There is a reason responsible pet parents have adopted the hashtag “Adopt Don’t Shop.”

9. Do you know how often we have to buy cat food and litter?? And heaven help you if your furbaby is allergic to either one. So you have to keep buying different ones until you find the one that works. That can add up fast. And have you seen how expensive flea treatments can run? Then there are the trips to the vet for vaccines to keep them healthy. Oh yes, our kids get vaccines just like yours. The cost of which can add up fast.

12. Some say you haven’t lived until your dog has tried to hump your leg……several times a day. Our newly adopted kitten is also still trying to breastfeed….and he has sharp teeth. Such is life when you are a pet parent. 😉

13. Try sleeping at night when you have just brought a new fur baby into your home and you are terrified of what he can get into in the course of a night because you are still grieving the sudden loss of your oldest cat. A death that you could not have been prevented and your mama heart can’t take another loss. Add to this your natural proclivity for anxiety and insomnia and you wonder how you ever sleep at all.

I think that about covers it. I do want to say that I wish nothing but the best for you. Enjoy your human child and be grateful you are able to have her and watch her grow up. But please never forget those of us in the trenches of grief. Who’s love of their fur babies in no way takes away from the love you have for your human kids.

No matter what we call them.

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Two of the three loves of my life. My boys. I captured this moment one night last week after Chad had gone to sleep and our Riley climbed onto the bed and curled up next to his daddy and fell asleep. In that moment my heart swelled with love so profound I couldn’t explain it…..I am truly blessed. ♥ 

Blessed Are The Nurturers……

Blogger’s Note: To the woman who is sad on Mother’s Day because she has empty arms, you are loved, you have worth and you matter to the world.


Blessed are the nurturers,
Those who teach our children,
Who drive the buses to and from school,
Who make sure our tiny humans cross the street safely.

Blessed are the nurturers,
Who had the dream of human children,
But live with empty arms.

Blessed are the nurturers,
Who stay up all night,
Tending to a sick dog or cat.
Who worry about their fur-babies crossing over to The Rainbow Bridge too soon.

Blessed are the nurturers,
The nannies, the after-school sitters, the kind souls that step in
When a parent has to work long hours or just needs a break.

Blessed are the nurturers, remembered and celebrated on this day.
May we always appreciate all the do.

Amen!

 

The Do’s and Donts of Cat Communication….

Who is ready for a lighter topic today on the blog? I thought we’d go through some techniques for effective communication with your cat. Yeah I know, cats are notorious for ignoring anything you ask them to do, especially our oldest who’s currently plopped square in the middle of the walk-way through the kitchen. So now if you want to get to the sink, you literally have to step over her, being careful not to touch her at all or she’ll swat at you with her claws of death.

So let’s get into it: 

1. The Slow Blink: This form of communication lets your cat know that you love them and it helps to calm them down, in most cases. With a little practice, the Slow Blink can be a useful tool. So, when doing the Slow Blink: 

Do: void your face of all expression-making it neutral. Then, look into your cat’s eyes and blink your eyes for a count of 3 or the time it takes for you to mentally say, “I love you.” On the word, “you”, open your eyes. You may have to repeat this a few times until your cat, and they most likely will, blinks back at you.

Do NOT: look at your cat and blink your eyes in rapid succession. If you do this, your cat will think they are at a Rave and start jonesing for PCP laced cat nip.

2. Meeting A New Cat Friend: Introducing yourself to a new cat can be a bit tricky.

Do: approach the cat slowly and hold out your hand, palm side down for the cat to sniff. Cats learn the most about the world around them through scent and need to sniff new things.

Do NOT: aggressively march up to a new cat and immediately start roughly petting them. If you do this you are more than likely going to get bit or scratched. The cat will also pass along how you treated them to the rest of their cat friends, along with a description of your house and whenever their cat friends walk passed your house, they’ll lift their little feline legs or squat in your begonias and let loose. If you don’t have begonias, don’t worry, they’ll bring their own.

and finally:

3. Punishing Your Cat Like You Would a Tiny Human: We’ve all been there. Especially if you live in a multi-cat household and one is a bully. Our latest “incident” occurred when our oldest tried to hug the youngest one. With her teeth.  While keeping the youngest one in a half-nelson. Now, if these were tiny humans, you’d yell and tell them to stop and maybe take away a privilege. We also have a habit of reprimanding our fur-babies in the same way. This is not as effective on fur-babies so:

Do: Try to redirect your cat’s attention from the bad bully behavior. Grab their favorite toy or a laser pointer and use them to distract your cat away from the bully behavior. Use a calm voice.

Do NOT: smack your hands together and yell loudly. This will just scare the cat and make them afraid of you. Now of course I’ve actually done this when our cats have been in danger and it has worked, but doing this repeatedly over time can break your cat’s spirit. Cats are pretty sensitive to noise. That’s why your cat scatters when you vacuum or crinkle a plastic bag. Besides after a while, your cat will get sick of all the noise and enact the ultimate revenge. On a random night when you are fast asleep, your cat – – having earlier purchased a trumpet on Ebay – – will creep into your bedroom, stand on your head, and play a raucous version of the PEANUTS theme song.

Interacting with cats can be confusing. Using these tips can help you and your cat sustain a better relationship.

Cheers!

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*When your cat says they want to be an owl, let them be an owl: Image courtesy of Pinterest