When I was pregnant with Skye, a loyal longtime reader from my celebrity blogging days — a doctor and self-proclaimed cat hater (not necessarily in that order) — ominously informed me that cats steal babies’ breath, followed with the requisite “Just sayin’.” “Just sayin'” I should get rid of the cats, I suppose, lest they try to suck face with the baby out of jealousy and rage. Well, good thing I decided to let the kitties stick around, not only because the whole breath-sucking thing is a ridiculous old wives’ tale, but also because they have ended up becoming buddies with my kids. Initially so depressed she could barely lift her head off the ground, Marcy is now the first one to charge into Skye’s room in the morning, as Skye greets her with “MY BABY MARCY!” and gently hugs her. It has never dawned on Skye that she is a toddler, hence she should be pulling the cats’ tails and launching them from our rooftop to see what kind of sound they make when they land. And I promised the cats I wouldn’t remind her she was shirking this important toddler duty, as long as they promised to stop walking across my keyboard and sending out dirty Tweets from my account.
At least one of us has upheld our promise. (And to my Twitter followers: My apologies again for that Instagram of Lucy’s butt.)
Yes, so far, so great on the kid-and-kitty front. If you’re pregnant and wondering how to help your cats accept the new addition(s) to the house, here are a few tips from us to you:
1. Assure your cat he still has a vital place in the family — as a fluffy area rug.
2. Break the ice with a good joke. “So this cat walks into the saloon and says, ‘I’m looking for the man who shot my Paw’…”
3. Have them bond over shared tummy time.
4. Have the baby stare into the cat’s eyes and hypnotize her with cuteness: “You will like me…”
5. Know that the way to a cat’s heart is through her stomach. Share your snacks with her.
6. Get the cats to accept you as one of them by pretending you are one of them.
7. Acknowledge the cat’s intellectual superiority by surrendering your LeapPad to her.
8. Discover common interests: “C’mon, Mom, can we PLEASE have chicken nuggets for breakfast?”
9. Arm the baby with fun toys to lure grudging kitty into fun playtime.
10. If all else fails, play Jedi kitty mind tricks: cover cat with blanket and declare, “You MY baby, kitty!”