When I became pregnant, a lot of people asked us a very rhetorical question: “What are you going to do about the cats?”
And we go, “What do you mean what we are we going to do with the cats? They are going to stay, of course!”
And then they go: “Are you _______ or ________ or _________?” (Fill in the blanks with crazy, stupid or whatever else you can think of). “Maybe not a good idea. Cats are dirty and it is not good/safe for your baby. You should think of the baby.”
OK. We heard you.
This is the part where we knowingly smile our broadest smiles and telling them our plans that if health is not going to be a big issue, we intend to make the cats very much a part of Spud’s life, and Spud will just have to live with it.
After giving our reply, I like to watch the reaction from their face, and when they are not looking, I will roll my eyes to the back of my head.
And to be honest, I cannot believe the number of people who asked us such questions, expecting us to get rid of the cats just like that, because there is a baby in the house.
Now. I know and I have read about all the allergies that a small baby can get from cats (and both Silver Bullet and me are also both allergic to cats too, by the way!), but I don’t think that it is in the best interest of the baby to keep the cats away from her. Besides, I share Silver Bullet’s sentiments that, to a certain extent, because a baby co-exists with cats, chances are the baby’s immune system will be better than babies who are not exposed to cats.
Perhaps that theory is flawed logic, but unless Spud is severely allergic to our feline friends, there is absolutely no way we are going to give up our 3 feline friends. The thought of having to give up one, let alone all 3 cats makes me sick to my stomach. There is no reason to alienate the cats just because we have a baby. No reason whatsoever. And I know of a few people who would not come and visit us with their precious child in tow when they found out we have cats.
Luckily for us, so far, (knock on wood!), there has been no signs of the cats affecting Spud’s health.
While the cats had seemed quite wary of her in the first few days when she came home from the hospital, they soon lose interest on her. There were occasions where the cats did try to get cosy with her, but none of those occasions were unsupervised. Even up till now, we keep the cats away from Spud’s bedroom when she goes to bed.
And by now, the cats, especially Andy and Donut, prefer to get out of her way whenever they see her bumbling around the house. They will watch her from afar or high places, and will quickly run away the moment they see Spud coming towards them.
The dodo-head Fudge, on the other hand, loves to be near Spud, but can get quite angsty if Spud pushes it. I hope it will be just a matter of time before they become best friends. From the onset, I can tell that Spud loves the cats, but she is just trying to figure things out at the moment. She likes stroking, patting and kissing Fudge when she gets the chance to…except she is a little rough with the strokes and pats, which annoys Fudge to no end.
I count my blessings that Spud is not allergic to cats, and so far, there has been no mayhem between baby and cats. Sure the cats got a little disorientated at first, and probably upset they did not get as much attention as they used to, but they adapt. And thankfully, they adapt well enough to tolerate having Spud messing with their territory without them giving us too much grief.
Despite some frustrating moments with the cats, they are very much a part of the family as Spud is, and it will break my heart if we ever have to let them go. For Spud, the cats are pretty much a part of her life too.
Looking at the pictures below, I, for one, would not have the heart to take away that bond she will have with the pets. The unconditional affection a baby can offer the cats and vice versa, is just too valuable a lesson to let it slip by.
And, excuse me if I find the allergy or health argument, unless life threatening, is completely exaggerated and taken out of context. The cats, tend to usually make themselves scarce, and sometimes, we found ourselves wondering if the cats are actually still around!