Long before Holden came to be, or even the thought of Holden- I had two cats. Raised them both from kittens, one came from under a trailer (Puss) and one from the SPCA (Pooter).
Puss has always been the more affectionate and open one, while Pooter is incredibly picky about who she likes (usually only females.)
Once I got pregnant, I began to worry about how they would react to having a baby in the house. I’d seen how they reacted to children before, and it was always terrified and skittish. They’d been around adults for about 95% of their lives.
I’ve heard horror stories about pets and babies. From my ex’s mother telling me the cat she’d had for something like 20 years trying to suffocate my ex when she brought him home from the hospital, to animals just becoming incredibly jealous that the attention is no longer focused on them- and they begin to piss all over everything and are angry all the time. Both sounded shitty to me.
At first everything was fine- Holden was small and didn’t move around so they didn’t have much to complain about other than the noise. And who really likes the sound of a baby screaming anyways?
Once Holden became mobile, the situation changed. It was a lot clearer how the cats really felt about having him around- and the reaction wasn’t very positive.
I decided to give it some time, perhaps it would just take a period of adjustment to get used to having a little person running and screaming and trying to pull their tails.
Sure enough, after a month or two- Puss really came around. He went from just tolerating Holden, to letting Holden pet him- to even coming UP to Holden for attention. I was very pleased with the progress. Even better- if Holden got overly aggressive, instead of scratching he would just get up and walk away. Perfect.
Pooter on the other hand did not acclimate. In fact, it didn’t even seem like she WANTED to acclimate. Either she was hiding from Holden, or hissing at him. Soon- hissing turned to scratching.. and that is where I draw the line.
The first few times it was just Holden’s arms, and while I disciplined Pooter, and tried to teach Holden how to be more gentle and cautious with her.. it didn’t stop.
She became more hostile, and once I got pregnant again she started scratching Holden’s face. And not just his face, but it seemed like she was going for his eyes.
Like any parent, I freaked out.. I immediately wanted to give her away, but after talking to a few friends I calmed down and started looking into other options. Maybe declawing (as inhumane as it sounds, what else could I do?) or pedipaws..
Before I could even decide, she did it again- and it’s the last straw for me.
In no stretch of the imagination can I let this happen again. If I just let it go, will next time be the time Holden gets his eye scratched out?
As much as I love my cat, my baby will always be more important to me.. and with another on the way- I know in the pit of my stomach that she will only become more hostile and more aggressive and there’s no way I can chance that. If I declaw her, she will most likely begin to use her teeth.. and really, declawing isn’t fair to her. She came into this house without babies, and is now being forced to try and deal with them and she can’t. I guess I can’t totally fault her for that (though I wish she would love Holden, she never will.)
So now i’m on a quest to find her a loving home- and no way in hell will I stick her in one with any small children.
I think she’d do best with some old spinster. It would be quiet.. and she would get to love on someone who would love back the way SHE wants them to.
Hell, maybe this will even open up the window to someday get Holden a puppy- good lord that child loves dogs. Not happening any time soon, I don’t need another thing to potty train that’s for damn sure.
Dear people writing articles on ways to get siblings to get along, I'll save you the time. The answer is "Don't let them play together"
Please stop Complimenting my kids’ “Good” Behavior goo.gl/fb/rwfojS
Hard pass from me pic.twitter.com/VayvW1eopK
I've gotten to the point where I'd let my kids summon a demon with a Ouija board before I'd let them play Monopoly together again.
Parenthood is when you start counting the minutes to bed time before 11am.