Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pets and newborns

As I've mentioned in a past post we have two cats and a dog.  The cats have been with us for quite awhile, I think they will be 8 in late June and the dog will be 2 in early May.  Up until this point they have been our babies.  Now that we have another baby coming we've been a bit worried about how they will react to the new addition.

Tonks, our fat and happy cat, we don't think will be any problem with the new boy.  As long as he's fed and has a place to sleep and gets a love every now and then he's good.  If he doesn't get fed at exactly the right time you will know about it.  Quite literally.  Don't ask me how but he knows how to tell time. When it's an hour or so before feeding time he starts letting us know and continues for the next hour until he's fed.

Frodo is our other cat, but he's sometimes known as the devil incarnate.  This cat thinks he rules the house and is the one we worry about the most.  He demands attention.  If he doesn't get it, well then watch out.  Not to long ago he hadn't got the attention from me that he thought he needed or deserved, so he went and peed all over Jasper, the dogs, bed...right in front of me.  What he didn't realize was that he was actually peeing on my clothes.  Well he might have done that on purpose.  We are afraid he might get into the crib at some point when the baby is to young to defend himself and possibly smother him.  The other part, the more endearing part about Frodo, is that he can be quite lovey.  He really enjoys attention from just about anyone and if your sitting down he will end up in your lap.

To combat the cats, we've thought about getting a shock collar system or perhaps a fence type of system to keep them away from the baby for awhile.  Eventually we will have no problems with it, but while he's small, we aren't exactly sure what to do.  And before you say "lock them out of the room" that's a whole different story (see above out Tonks letting us know about being fed...our cats are very vocal and will howl and scratch for kingdom come!)

Jasper, the boxer of the house, can be a brute.  With me he likes to play.  M, my wife, says that he goes to her for loves and comfort and with me it's play and business time.  Which is true.  He doesn't play rough with M, but with me it's time to rumble.  I think it has to do with the alpha male thing.  He knows his place, but he likes to challenge it.  We think he'll be okay with the baby, but my worry is that he'll "box" at the baby.  There is a reason why boxers are named boxers.  Jasper, at least, uses his paws like a boxer and I've been hit with a couple of straight rights and a few left hooks from him.  That's my concern.  I think once he knows he can't be rough with the baby he'll be fine (and understand that he's gone down on the totem pole again!).

So how have you pets been with a newborn?

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