Wednesday, September 15, 2010

cats aren't kids

Before I had my sweet little baby boy, I called my cats my kids.  I knew they weren't human, don't worry.  But I loved them, looked forward to seeing them, and invited them onto my lap whenever I sat down on the couch.  We've had the gray female cat, Sylvie, for 6 years and the orange male, Niko, for almost 2. 

a rare photo of Niko (l) and Sylvie (r) within 2 feet of each other

Now that Theo is here, when I get a chance to lie down in bed or on the couch baby-free, I don't want another 6 or 14 pound creature smothering me (yes, our male cat is a hefty one).  I feel so guilty.  They are surely jealous of all the time and attention Theo gets and I should spend extra time with them when I can, but now it just seems like they get in the way.  What kinda life is that?

Actually, it's pretty good, I guess...they sleep all day, pretty much eat all they want, and they do get love every day (just not as much as before).  But the problem is not only that I feel guilty for not spending more time with them or seeing them as my babies anymore.  Now I see them as work.  Litterbox. Food.  Brushing.  Clipping claws.  Cleaning up fur.  Lint-rolling my clothes.  Not sitting on the couch if I have on a black shirt.

Don't get me wrong, I do still love them.  I love them enough that the thought of giving them away makes me too sad to ever go through with it.  They brought me a lot of joy in the years before I had a real baby.  See, what's troublesome, is that Sylvie, who's 6 now (come on!), can't clean her own litterbox.  She still can't fix her own plate.  She can't even get her own water out of the sink.  Neither can Niko, but Sylvie's needier than he is.  She can't be independent and do her own thing.  If I am home, she has to follow me everywhere I go like a dog.  I just don't know if I'm going to have the time and love to give to her as my life gets busier.  She has made some compromises and sat on Theo's boppy while I'm feeding him so I can pet her.  She's even humored me by letting Theo pet her and pull her fur, which I found pretty sweet and endearing.  Nonetheless, she's work. 

I can't imagine having a dog. 
It's sad, I feel guilty, and I wish I could be a better cat-mom.


Niko and Theo (at about 3 weeks old)


1 comment:

  1. Niko is pretty needy too. I wish he could turn on the water faucet for himself!