I got a lot of questions and criticisms about having so many animals while bethend was pregnant. People expected me to get rid of four cats (and some chickens and a hamster) because of risk to the baby. Even though we had weighed up the risks, made a special moses basket cover and well, there are enough cats in Cats Protection without us adding to it (and two of them came from Cats Protection in the first place).
Despite all this, I never really realised the real risk of having cats and toddlers. Maybe no one really does until it’s too late and so heed my warning dear reader. Here are the real risks of having toddlers and cats.
Both Will Mug You For Food
Both cats and toddlers are in a constant state of hunger. Despite being fed regularly they always want food. And they will start asking for food. Often. All day. Every day. And then not eat their dinner. This is both cats and toddlers now. My cats will spend the day lamenting how hungry they are but will have left half a bowl of cat biscuits on the deck because there is no gravy. My son will start a banana then ask for yoghurt. And another banana. And then a biscuit. Before breakfast.
They both sneak up on you too. The only real difference is that cats can get onto counters and tables and steal food and toddlers can’t…oh wait, no, he can do that too.
It is one of the signs you have a toddler in the house, and one of the signs you have cats. Cats aren’t like dogs. Dogs will lick every last crumb off every last surface. Cats can and will too, but more often than not, they will create crumbs to come back to later.
Toddlers to the same thing. They will suddenly be eating a tortilla and well, you had tortillas last a week ago so where did this tortilla come from?
It’s best not to ask. Or think about it too much. Same goes for toast. At least toddlers don’t kill and keep mice in places to eat later (don’t ask).
Some cats will follow toddlers around and eat their crumbs, they will, however, create crumbs too. You won’t have mice though. Cause of the cats.
At least not live ones…
You End Up Speaking To Them Both In The Same Manner
If you’ve ever had cats, you’ll know all about cat voice. It’s the voice or accent you use when talking to your cats, or about your cats. Or about anything if the madness is particularly bad. And if you’ve had cats before you’ve had babies, this will be the way you speak to your baby at first. In cat voice. You will also try and get their attention the same way as you would a cat.
I did, I couldn’t help it to be honest. I was four cats in at the point. I also have an eel accent but that’s another post.
However, once they’re toddlers and you’ve finally topped using cat voice all the time, you develop mum voice instead, the way you speak to your toddler. And then you start using it on the cats. And you start telling them off the same way or using the same simplified words you use with your toddler with your cats.
You may also start calling them by the wrong name. Cats and toddlers.
Both Will Break Things
With cats or toddlers, you can no longer have nice things.
Basically, I don’t want a secret drawer to keep important things in, I want a secret house that I will keep all my stuff and none of my cats or my toddler. Everything is either cat proofed or baby proofed with varying success. I go through a lot of bowls in particular because of the cats, and toddlers seem to favour ripping pages or covers off books. All of my games and dvds that are within reach have been opened, nothing is in the right case or boxset.
We got through a lot of glue, glueing crockery or ceramics back together, or pages back into books. Bethend has gotten quite good at it.
Some cats just lick food out of bowls until they fall off the counter, some cats are just jerks who like to knock stuff onto the floor or sit in small spaces and knock stuff off with their massive backsides. Some toddlers like to take things apart. I have a lot of car halves. Some toddlers are destructive and like wrecking stuff.
Some are both.
You can’t have nice things…
They Will Lick Anything (including each other)
I could make a whole separate blog post about all the things my son has licked. But the highlights include a bus window, me and the cats…
I don’t know at what point they decide that licking everything is the first step to investigating something, I know it’s not just my kids, and not everyone has cats so it’s not like they’re influencing them. Cats lick everything, from each to their own bums to each other’s bums. Much like toddlers, cats are gross.
The cats have licked us all at some point, Wiggles, in particular, will lick you if he even thinks you have food on you. He lurks under the table at meal times and has licked Snappys feet and legs a few times.
I have seen Snappy lick a cat. He regretted it, but he definitely licked Stink.
I have no words.
The Real Risk
So the real risks of having kids and cats are basically double the number of bodily fluids and food in crumb form. Don’t worry, it might not get better but you will get used to it.