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Feline Fears: A Complement to A Cat’s Tale
I absolutely love my cat, Catniss. She’s extremely playful, but still willing to curl up on my lap. She’ll even go on short walks outside with me without a leash. Playing with her favorite string, ball, or climbing around on our stairs are her hobbies. She always enjoys being in the same room with us; usually right under foot 🙂
Her one disagreeable quality is her uneasiness around children. When my siblings and their nieces and nephews stop by to spend time with us, she hides, hisses, and sometimes, bats. The batting is a problem because she has her claws. After they would head home, she would still remain uneasy for some time. I can understand why she might be unsure of kids. She doesn’t really spend much time with them.
Yet, these interactions were a problem. Especially, when my husband and I wanted to start a family.
Throughout my pregnancy, I researched how to introduce a new baby to a cat. I played YouTube videos of babies crying for minutes on end while simultaneously giving her treats in hopes that it would get her used to baby sounds.
I lathered myself in baby lotion and used baby shampoo so she would be used to the smells. I also left baby wipes and other objects out so that she could inspect them.
My biggest fear was that she was going to lay on the baby. (I even considered buying a cat crib protector!) To help avoid this, we set up Tousle-Top’s crib early as well as his car-seat and stroller. If Catniss jumped into either, we would use our water spritzer on her. After a few attempts, she did not explore either again.
Once Tousle-Top made his arrival and we headed home, it was time for my two “babies” to meet. My husband sat the carrier down and said we should let Catniss smell Tousle-Top. This made me nervous. What if he startled her and she scratched him? After Catniss stuck her face right up next to Tousle-Top’s and gave him a few sniffs, she was no longer interested. My mom and husband tended to Tousle-Top and I gave Catniss lots of attention.
Over the course of the next few months, we were very diligent to tend to all of Catniss’ needs and make sure she was getting plenty of attention. Surprisingly, she has become his protector. She cries when he cries! She even sleeps near the foot of his crib.
At this point, Tousle-Top is getting a bit more mobile. Yet, I’m not worried. Since Tousle-Top is slowly developing new skills, Catniss has time to adapt to his changes.