Wolf is down with flu. I should have really known better. His cousin has been coughing for a week now. I should have kept him away. His nose had been runny for a few days, and he’d been sleeping shorter periods at night. More 4.5+4 than the usual 5+5 or 6+4. Sunday he was more subdued and his nose ran even more.
Sunday night he woke several times with a crying burst but when I got up he was fast asleep again. Finally at 6am, I decided to wake him for a feed, feeling particularly dehydrated myself. His nose was full of snot. I cleaned him up and fed him. He fed well, unlike his last feed at 1145pm. He smiled several times, and then slept again. At 10am another cry woke me. He was asleep again but I picked him up for a feed. Once again he ate well, and stayed up to play.
Last night he slept 9 hours! Then again, maybe I was just too tired to wake up for a night feed. He nursed fairly well – I was quite engorged, and after, treated me with happy smiles, coos, and ahhs. Back in his cot for a while, he was talking to himself quite cheerily, then later cries for a suckle and nap in Mom’s arms (more like on the MBF so I can type).
His appetite has been poor but it could be the new c/d food he’s been put on or his house arrest in my room. He ate quite a bit from my hand yesterday but nothing today. The good news is he is peeing in puddles! With his own poo pan in the bathroom, it’s been easier to track his pee schedule. He’s been quite happy napping by my feet, on the rug, or in his Dad’s sock closet, although once in a while he does get wanderlust and sits by the door looking at me forlornly.
As for he and Wolf, it’s almost as if he understands the baby needs me a lot more, physically and emotionally, so he sits or lies close by quietly. He knows Wolf’s smell is my smell. Sometimes I let him sniff Wolf’s hair or hand, and he does so with an acknowledging nod.
Cat experts have often noted how cats know babies are small humans and give them a ton of leeway they normally wouldn’t accord big humans. I’ve noticed this in all the kids. Buffy particularly, who is perpetually jealous of anyone who takes her Daddy’s attention away, is protective of Wolf. Perhaps he smells like her Dad too!
I hope both kids get well soon. It’s always terrible to see your children ill, but it melts my heart to see how brave and upbeat they have both managed to be – Boy, selflessly sacrificing Mom-time for baby’s needs but remaining close to us like a guardian and constant companion (I can imagine the wonderful days and nights ahead when the cat-kids comfort an ill Wolf and vice versa), and Wolf despite an uncomfortably runny nose and cough, never without a smile for anyone watching over him.
The joys of motherhood are much to behold. I have had such immeasurable joy since I gave birth to Wolf that I’d gladly suffer the 28 hour labour and the trying first month all over again. Many have told me that once I have my own (human) child that I would feel differently about my cats and very easily give them up. I scoffed at such comments, although secretly in my heart I feared that I would love them less, and worse, bear to give them up.
Into my third month of (human) motherhood now, I find that that hasn’t been the case. If anything, I love and appreciate my cat-children even more and find so much more delight in them. The difference between loving them and loving Wolf is that Wolf needs me constantly. I confess I had neglected them quite a bit those early days. I remember Boy’s forlorn looks, Tux meowing at me for attention. Now that things have stabilised, I’ve been able to spend more quality time with them, without neglecting Wolf as well. That’s what parenthood is about, isn’t it? Loving all your children, adopted and otherwise, each as much but differently.
And cats, like children, change over the years. What a delight it is to watch them every day. The joy of watching Kaku play with her mouse toy, carrying it around like it is her baby, grooming it, swatting it and grasping it with her paw! Coming home to see Tuxie lounging on the sofa like a possum and staring innocently at us. Boy napping on the couch head, contented now that the rest don’t bug him as much. Sam (Mu Child as we call him more and more these days) finally succeeding in jumping down from the rafters all by himself! Buffy, a gentle protector watching over all of us, her family.
I grasp these moments like a lifeboat, knowing that we have such a short time together. Life is, unforgivingly short. Even more so with our beloved cats. Children are not meant to outlive their parents. With my 5 cat-children, the probability is very high that I will outlive them. It would pain me so much to have to see them die one day. But as the saying goes, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Isn’t that what life is all about? I raised all 5 from the time they were kittens, adopted them with the promise that I would care for them all my life, and give them every bit of love I have. I will not give them up simply because hearsay dictates pregnancy and cats are incompatible, or that cats and children cannot coexist. I have done my research. I know what is fact and what is fiction.
So if you are reading this because you found this entry while Googling “cats and babies” or “cats and pregnancy”, please do your research, check up on the facts. Don’t give up your pet because some “concerned” person says they will cause allergies, malformations in your child, or any other similar misinformed problem. Stand your ground. Those who believe strongly in this myth will persist. I still hear it from many well-meaning folk. From the lips of those who did give their pets up, it is a terrible thing to live with the guilt that you sentenced your pet to death.
Yes, giving them up to the SPCA, AVA, or risk giving him to someone who may abandon it eventually, is tantamount to a death sentence. If you didn’t know, SPCA simply doesn’t have the space so they have to put down (read: kill) most of the pets turned in to them. Similarly, with AVA. You’ll be very fortunate to find a good adopter. There will always be the possibility that the person may abandon your pet (who may get caught by AVA and put down, or worse, taken by an animal abuser) or give it up to SPCA or AVA.
For those still worried about cats and children, my son is wonderful, normal (no allergies, eczema, asthma), immensely happy, and to his family and friends, the most beautiful child, who lives with his Mommy, Daddy, and 5 cat-siblings.
Lately Wolf has been most preoccupied with his left hand. He spends hours on end staring at it and putting it in his mouth. It’s been a source of comfort, sucking his fist. He’s soothed himself back to sleep some 7am mornings when I’d been too tired to get up.
My Mom bought some side padded thingys for his cot now that he’s too big for his sleeper. They’re of the Cat and the Fiddle (she thought I’d like it). He was so intrigued when I first placed him inside with the new sides. He stared and stared at them, cooing and shrieking in delight. At the same time, I installed his Humpty mobile and he lay there entertaining himself for over an hour.
He’s so keen to learn these days. His eyes widen when I bring out the flash cards and he smiles when he sees his favourite animals. He still loves staring at the lights and happily lies in his cot watching the Humptys turn round and round (he likes the red ones best because he’s had two bigger ones in his cot), or looking at the cat and the fiddle, the cow and the moon, and the plate and the spoon.
Last night he laughed and laughed when his aunt B carried him and talked to him. He loves to be carried and talked to. My Dad talks to him everyday for a half hour. Everyone agrees he’s going to be a talker when he grows up.
Since day 1 I have approached motherhood algorithmically. It is always one of these few things: hunger, wind, sleepiness, diaper, attention. But it is useless when your brain is too wasted to make a clear analysis and act on it.
Wolf was still hungry last night. He’d fed, cried, burped repeatedly, and wanted to sleep. He finally slept at 1230am and woke at 330am, 730am, and 11am. If I’d just fed him more at 11pm, he may have slept till 5am as he usually did, but I was just too tired.
The lack of caffeine doesn’t help. I’m used to a cup of green tea at least. Now without even OJ, I am stuck with milk, which makes me even sleepier.
Meanwhile, my arm’s going to be numb. I forgot to strap MBF and Wolf fell asleep with my left arm wrapped heroically around him. Need Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at least…
Sleep: 3 + 4 + 3.5
In other more exciting news, they found lakes on Titan!