Some days, we joke that I am running Kitty Daycare here at the House of Peevish.
It really feels like it sometimes. I have 4 different little characters with 4 different personalities and many different needs. They all need something different all at the same time. It gets a bit busy sometimes.
There are those days when everyone is fine and the only thing that they all need is cuddles — albeit, all at the same time. But taking turns with cuddles (in age order) is a pretty easy thing. Sure, it takes time away from my day of doing other things, but who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of love in the middle of a busy day?
But then there are days like this morning, when all four personalities are at their vocal, demanding best.
One has to be coaxed and cajoled into eating his breakfast. Another has to be kept from eating the other’s breakfast because she is a little chubby and the breakfast is high in fat. Another is crying because she never, ever gets any breakfast given to her at all — she doesn’t like canned food — and so she has to be given something to stop the wailing (a nice bowl of milk works). Then, the oldest has to be retrieved from her crate and given her breakfast, and I have to keep her away from everyone else’s breakfast (which is TASTY and NEW and FORBIDDEN, so of course she MUST have that). And then, she must be followed to ensure she has no accidents or pees on anything. But then, when I turn to make some coffee for myself, she barfs all over the carpet.
So, the barf gets covered in paper towels until it’s dry enough to clean without staining the carpet. Then, the little one has to be kept away because he’s new to almost everything here and so barf-clean-up procedures are FASCINATING. The oldest has to have her blankies washed. The next-oldest just wants to be left alone to snooze. If you stop to go to the bathroom, the youngest MUST be petted, and climbs up, on, and around you if you don’t. The two youngest must be refereed as they tussle and play and chase each other around. The oldest must be watched carefully as she plays Adventure Kitty and tried to clamber her elderly self up into a sunny window — and then back down again. The youngest must be kept out of the toilet — another new thing — and the next-to-youngest squawks until you help her get her blankie JUST SO while she gets into it for her morning nap.
All this before 10 o’clock.
Then it’s time for the morning nap, and there is peace in our time.
It’s quite comical some days, when I think of all the hoops that we jump through with these cats. They are real, honest-to-goodness family members, and they let you know what they want and when. Secretly, we like it this way. They are all personalities, which we have encouraged in our cats since the beginning — who wants an aloof, boring cat? Sure, they can be demanding, but it’s a lot of fun too.
Adding a child to the mix will be an adventure. The pecking order will change, of course, and the cats will be all bent out of shape for a few weeks. They will need to figure out how they fit in. It will be fun to see how each one reacts. I am guessing the following:
- Opus will hiss at the baby at the very first meeting, as she does with all babies, until we establish “Dude, it’s a KID!” with her. “OH!” she’ll think to herself. “I didn’t know!” And then she will be all friendly and buddy-buddy and think of the child as just an other person to serve and love her.
- Cinnamon will scurry into hiding for several days. She will flee at the slightest noise and unpredictability for years afterwards. Just as she does with all people.
- Lucy’s curiosity will get the best of her, and she will be in the baby’s face from the beginning. “What IS that?” will be her attitude. I think Lucy will be the one who adopts the baby as her own.
- Duncan will be aware there is a new person in the house, but will not share his toys. He WILL, however, expect the baby to share his/her toys with HIM.
So I don’t expect the daycare will disappear… it will just get bigger and noisier and more demanding. Priorities will shift, schedules will change, demands will change and increase… And probably, 4 cats (okay, probably 3) will trail after me and the baby throughout the house in whatever we do. Sort of like those daycare babies on a rope when they go our for an outing. Only without the rope. And without the outing. And far less organized. More like a mobile mob, actually.
But all in all, just another day at Kitty Daycare.