There are a number of ridiculous old wives’ tales about cats and babies, such as the one about cats jumping into the crib and smothering the child to death (has never been known to happen). Or cats who SUCK THE BABY’S BREATH to get to the milk (also nonsense; cats are smart enough to walk to 7-Eleven and get their own carton of it). Then, of course, there’s the one about cats who will sneak into the baby’s drawer and STEAL his or her “POOPS… I Did It Again” onesie to save the child from embarrassment.
Well, okay, maybe that has been known to happen. (I KNOW it was you, Marcy!)
When I got pregnant, I wasn’t worried. I knew all of those myths were just that — myths — but I was still curious to see how the bond between Skye and our cats, who had been our only babies for nine years, would unfold. As regular followers of this column know, the cats’ reactions have ranged from depression to protectiveness to mutual love. Meanwhile, Skye’s interest has grown from indifference to her current state of OMIGOD IT’S A KITTY, MUST SQUEAL AND CHASE IT!
I really do mean SQUEEEAAAL in all-caps. The very sight of those cats launches her into a state of frenzied excitement, so much so that she practically trips over her own feet to get to them. Similar to how I react to the sight of a freshly made margarita. Although Miss Skye just wants to be close to them, it’s kind of hard to explain that to the terrified cats as her SQUEEEAAAL pierces their ears and not-so-steady feet come precariously close to their tails. So I assuage Marcy and Matty (who, interestingly, scatter but never stray too far from her) by throwing them some money for their next trip to 7-Eleven.
I do try to protect the cats when they’re eating. “Leave the kitties alone,” I warn in my best motherly tone, still marveling at the fact that I HAVE A MOTHERLY TONE. Not only that, but it works! Because over the weekend, I could see Miss Skye processing my warning and then…? She respectfully took a few steps back, laid on the ground and PRETENDED TO JOIN THE KITTIES FOR DINNER. It has happened multiple times since.
Meow Mix, anyone?