From the moment we started telling people that we were expecting, I was constantly asked “What about your cats?”. For those of you who don’t know, Kurt and I own three mischievous and hilarious cats. Stella is our oldest and our only female. She is a grey and white Maine Coon cat. She is actually in love with Kurt and I’m pretty sure every time I leave the house, she secretly wishes I wouldn’t return haha! Ari is our middle boy and he is also a Maine Coon but he’s black and white. He’s definitely my boy and loves me to bits! Then there’s Milo. We adopted him from the animal hospital I used to work at when he was a kitten. He’s an orange domestic medium hair cat but from his size, you’d definitely think he belonged to the Maine Coon family as well. They are our babies. Each one of them has their own personality with their own quirks and habits. I couldn’t for the life of me picture giving any of them away. Even Milo; who continuously thinks pooping directly beside the litter box is acceptable behaviour. They’ve been in our family for years now and I love them as much as I love Nate. However; when we started telling people we were expecting, most assumed that we’d be giving all three of them away. Wait, What!? How could I give away a family member?
Everyone’s heard the old wives tale that cats kill babies. They jump in the cradles or cribs and suffocate them by laying on the baby’s face because babies are so warm. I’ve heard this since I was a little girl but I wasn’t about to give away my fur babies because of an old wives tale. Any time someone would mention our cats, Kurt and I would explain that yes we were keeping them and yes we knew about all the “risks” associated with doing this (even though we were both secretly rolling our eyes at the thought of these “risks”). I even had a patient tell me that I “would be sorry” that I kept my cats around when I brought home my newborn son!
So here I am nine (almost ten) months later saying there was absolutely NOTHING to worry about!! From the moment we got home from the hospital all three cats have been nothing but wonderful towards Nate. We never had an issue with them jumping into his cradle or crib at night because guess what!? We kept them out of our bedroom and his bedroom by shutting the doors!! Seriously. Nate slept in his play pen in our room for about seven months before we transitioned him into his crib. So for seven months, when we went to bed at night we simply shut our bedroom door. The cats were on one side and Nate slept safely and soundly on the other side. And during his nap times, I was either holding him (because I liked the extra snuggle time) or I placed him in his crib with his door shut while I did the housework or relaxed. I don’t see how no one has ever thought of doing this in the past? It’s not rocket science.
Now that Nate is more mobile and crawling everywhere I often get asked if he bothers the cats to the point where they attack him and my answer is a big fat no. Yes, there are days when he bugs and bugs and bugs them but not one of them has ever actually injured him. Nate loves the cats and the cats tolerate Nate. I have zero concerns about them being around him. I trust them and so far they have done nothing to cause me to question that. If anything, Ari has become more of a protector of Nate. Any time someone new came to the house and held Nate, Ari would make a point to sit directly beside them and watch them until they gave Nate to someone else.
I want people to understand that there are other options out there than just getting rid of their animals because of some old wives tale. I understand, that yes, in some circumstances babies and children have been injured by family pets but after hearing more than one or two people question my decision to keep my cats after having a baby, I felt the need to talk about it. In my opinion, pets should be a lifelong commitment and there are always alternative measures one can take before listening to an old wives tale. For example, shutting the bedroom door!
No, I didn’t leave the room while Ari was on the couch with Nate. I just stood up to get my phone to take this picture because it was too cute not to capture!
Ari always wanted to be near Nate during tummy time. It really helped Nate too because he would lift his head more to focus on Ari and having Ari down at his level made him cry a lot less.
Milo giving kisses after a bum change.
Stella just loves her daddy so much
Ari is always around making sure everything is going smoothly.