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Be Cool, Cats. There's a (Human) Baby on the Way.

I adopted Zen, one of our two cats, from a shelter four years ago. All of the cats in this shelter hung out in a room together during the day. I stepped into the room and Zen appeared at my feet and meowed, and that was that. She has a heart-shaped mark on the top of her head, and she is an absolute slut; she is demonstrative in her love for all people, and will purr in their arms for hours on end. She also loves food. She’s fat.

 Zen

 

I found Soup in a puddle in Brooklyn when I first moved to New York. He was tiny, covered in fleas, and utterly pathetic. He hid under my bed for his first week home, but then took Zen on as his mother, giving her some much needed exercise. He was in constant motion. He wouldn’t let me touch him, and didn’t slow down to take notice of human-folk until Aaron (now my husband) appeared on the scene. Then, suddenly, Soup was smitten. Aaron has slowly elicited Soup’s endearing—if a little weird—personality. Soup still hides silently under the bed when we have anyone over (such a wimp), but he is not shy around us, and he now likes to be petted.

 

 Soup and Zen

 

 

There are some definite drawbacks to sharing a small apartment with pets, though, namely the proliferation of what we call “cat-hair tumbleweeds,” and the occupation of one of our two precious closets by a litter box (we keep it clean, but it still stinks up the whole apartment immediately after they use it). The cats scatter their food around the kitchen at night, and it’s easily tracked all over the place. They also do random cat things like puke and knock things off of shelves, and howl without reason at four in the morning.

 

 

 Soup

 

 

None of these drawbacks is enough to deter us from cohabitating with our furry roommates, but we’re beginning to wonder aloud: how will they cope with the baby? We’ve put a net on the crib, and are secretly planning to kick them out of the bedroom altogether… this will definitely disrupt Zen’s hard-set cuddling routine. We’re not sure how she’ll react. We have friends whose cat became so depressed upon the arrival of a baby that it lost enough weight to land itself in the hospital with an IV drip. Another rebelled by pooping all over its owners’ rugs. This leads to our other lurking question, as-yet-unspoken but undoubtedly there: once the baby’s born, as much as we love our cats, how will we cope with them?

 

Did any of you have good or bad experiences in introducing your baby into your pet-friendly home? How did you coordinate both pet and baby maintenance and care?

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