Over the years I have found myself in the peculiar situation of owning cats. I mean, I hate cats. Hated cats. I’m apathetic about cats now I’ve had a few. Have a few. Okay, so I have five cats. I didn’t mean to have four cats. It’s a bit like cat maths. You have one cat, but it needs a friend right? So you get another cat. And then, well, you’ve already got two cats another one won’t hurt. And then well, you’ve already got three, four can’t be much worse right?
Wrong? Four is worse. Then you’re that person with five cats because you found a kitten and didn’t give it away.
If I could have less cats without getting rid of any cats that would be nice.
More recently I have also found myself in the peculiar situation of having a baby. I say this not because I hated babies but because I never really did expect that I would ever have kids, or be able to have kids, or even meet someone I would want to have kids with.
But here we are, five months and five cats in.
In the past few weeks I have noticed some similarities and some differences between babies and cats. Some obvious, some not so. Depending on how well you know cats. Or babies. Or both.
First up, the similarities.
Babies and cats sleep whenever and wherever they want. Cats apparently sleep for eighteen hours a day. I say apparently because it doesn’t feel like it’s that long. Not when they’re standing on my face at six in the morning wanting dinner, or glaring at me from on top of the wardrobe when I’m in bed. But I digress. Babies, at least babies Snappy’s age (nine weeks at time of writing) sleep anywhere between sixteen and twenty hours a day. It feels like more, but then he’s not waking me up in the middle of the night for a feed. Both my cats and my child will sleep anywhere. The cats sleep in boxes, on boxes. On shelves, wardrobes, a half finished doll house. On me. Snappy is the same, he’ll pretty much sleep wherever I put him, though I haven’t tested the theory to include boxes and shelves and so on. He likes to sleep in his car seat a lot. Right now he’s asleep on my arm.
Cats clean themselves and each other. But they do no clean up after themselves. They crap wherever they want (at least cats do if they’re outside and one annoying cat I know does inside.) and they don’t clean up their own litter boxes and half the time they don’t even bury it. Babies are much the same, they crap wherever they are in the house and don’t even change their own nappies. Or clean up their own bums. We do it. We change the nappies and clean out the litter boxes.
Though at least I don’t have the wipe the cats bums. That’s one silver lining I suppose.
Both cats and babies want to eat all the time. Given the chance both my cats and my baby would never stop. Snappy is breastfeeding and sometimes completely empties out my wife. The cats would empty out the cupboards. All the cupboards. As I’ve already written about Pogo in particular will eat anything. Anything. Including, recently, trying to drink hot cooking oil.
I don’t even know what to do with that one.
Babies are the same. I’ve seen my niece Poppy eat food my cat Micky has dropped (too quickly for me to stop her). My neighbour’s little boy trade his toys with his dog for dog biscuits. And eat them. I know Snappy will try and eat all sorts of things. My mum says she found my teeth marks in a brick of lard when I was a kid. My sister bit into a cockroach once.
I don’t have any cockroaches in my house but I do have a few spiders. Hopefully the cats will be quicker.
Both babies and cats crave attention. They don’t necessarily need it. Well, the cats at least – babies don’t understand that you still exist when they can’t see you. Or maybe that is the problem with cats too but I very much doubt it. Cats are both attention hogs and great at ignoring you which is something babies do too. Snappy is both ignoring me and demanding every minute of my time if he can get away with it.
At least he’s not jealous. Yet.
We call Snappy our tiny overlord. Both he and the cats are adorable and jerks. The cats wake us up randomly, scream at us, ignore us. Scratch us, bite us, stand on our hair, our faces. They knock stuff off surfaces just to see it fall (and break), sit on stuff that definitely not should be sat on (wet paint, important paperwork, babies). They wreck the furniture, the carpets, doors, boxes, everything they can get their claws (and teeth on).
Babies are similarly little jerks. Their destructive tendencies don’t kick in until they’re a bit older but they do with gusto. And even at nine weeks old Snappy is definitely showing some signs of being a tiny little jerk. Whenever my wife has to feed him even though she’s not had any sleep and I am willing to sit up with him he smirks. Whenever he craps in a nappy I have just changed, he smirks. If it wasn’t for the smirking, I’d say this was just him being a baby but he gives us this smirk that makes me think he knows exactly what he’s just done. The cats don’t smirk but they definitely have a look about them.
They both love to fart. A lot. Luckily Snappy’s farts do not smell. Unfortunately, the cats do smell. And there are five of them….
Next time we’ll talk about the differences. Which may be obvious to you, but some reason I keep forgetting that babies are not like cats (and occasionally the other way around).