Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cats and kids are a fun mix

I grew up with a mean, mean cat. You didn't do things like touch her without her asking for it and picking her up was an invitation for violence. Then I worked in a veterinary hospital in high school and as the low person on the totem pole, the task of restraining the mean cats for their exams often fell to me. As a result, I have a high degree of healthy respect for cats, especially when they are cornered or feel threatened.




The biggest challenge of making Catniss part of the family is teaching the kids how to appropriately interact with a cat. They are used to Peanut, who is not only bigger than them, but is also used to being man (toddler?) handled. With Faith, I'm trying to teach her the "right" places to pet the cat.




With Cordelia? Well, I'm mostly trying to keep her from breaking the cat in half to see what it looks like inside. Maybe 18 months is too young to have control over the power of your petting, but when she pets the cat, it's like she's palpating the cat's organs. I supervise their interactions, but the cat now has free run in the house (since we installed cat doors) and twice now I've come out of the bathroom after helping Faith potty and I thought Cordelia has a stuffed animal in her arms and then realized it's actually the cat.

The twisted thing is that the cat seems to like it. Maybe she's always wanted a toddler of her own?




All the stuff that cats are supposed to hate, Catniss doesn't seem to mind. All she really cares about is being wherever we are, no matter what. Screaming excited kids? No reaction. Belly rubs? Sure. Tail pulling? Not thrilled, but not leaving. She even lets Peanut sniff her all over and doesn't even do that cat growl. I can't tell if she's mentally stunted or a saint, or some kind of combination. So far the only thing she cares about is that she can't see the bottom of her food bowl. She doesn't eat a ton of food, but if she can see the metal at the bottom of the bowl, she freaks out like starvation is imminent. I rush downstairs to fill it up and she takes one bite and walks off.




OK, that's probably enough cat talk.




In non-cat news, I've been continuing to do low-impact Zumba. The hardest part of it so far is getting the instructors to understand that I want low impact, not low intensity. Zumba seems to be a popular workout for the geriatric set and some of them to need to moderation their exertion, but thankfully I just need to keep my feet on the ground.

Also, I stopped doing my PT exercises because doing them was making the  nerve pain in my leg increase. I don't understand how or why, but my one instruction from the surgeon was to not do things that make my pain worse, so I stopped. I'm guessing I either had shitty PT instructions or the exercises don't mix well with working out. No one really seems to know what to do with post-surgical patients who want to be active, which is weird.





Since the theme of the blog this week is talking about my cat and Game of Thrones, here is an awesome alternative ending to last weekend's episode.




This weekend will be a mixture of stress and fun. Tomorrow is my birthday, but we're spending the day with Faith up in Baltimore at the Kennedy Krieger Institute getting her more testing about her delays. Luckily my wonderful in-laws are coming to stay with Cordelia so we can just focus on Faith and not worry about keeping an antsy baby happy. Cordelia will love being the center of attention at home for the day.


Baby loves taking her own picture
Then on Saturday we're getting a babysitter and going out for my birthday. I can't decide if I want to do dinner or a movie. Why not do both you say? Because I'm an old lady who doesn't want to stay out that late. I'm leaning toward dinner because then I can eat my food while it's still hot and actually talk to my husband without interruptions.


If you had to pick one, would you pick the movie or dinner out? Is there anything out right now that's a must see?

Are you afraid of cats? I know some people are and I almost wish I could dose the kids up with a little healthy fear without them actually getting hurt. Maybe I should show them graphic cat attack videos until they get it?



32 comments:

  1. We're lucky in that we don't have to choose between dinner and a movie.

    They opened the Loudoun One Alamo Drafthouse near us, so we can go see a movie (with Reserved Seating!), and have dinner (and a Beer!) at the same time. It's the best thing that happened to date night.

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    1. I'm jealous and I hate you.

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    2. I approve of this message.

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    3. We do the same! Whoever thought up this concept clearly knew what it was like to have a $10/hr babysitter fee staring you in the face.

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  2. I have a healthy fear of most cats... I mean, I've lived with a few and tolerated them but if I don't *know* the cat I'm typically afraid of it. I worked at a pet store that had a cat adoption center in it (we didn't sell cats or dogs) and when anyone wanted to see/pet any of the cats I tried to find someone else to do it. I'm sure the cats could sense my apprehension and it freaked me out.

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  3. I am terrified of cats. They have razor teeth Kara, razor teeth!

    Also, I would choose dinner. But I'm a fat ass so...

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  4. Is it possible cats are like dogs? When you rescue them they have a few weeks of being perfect and then all hell breaks loose when their real personalities come out.

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  5. Awwwww, you got a kitteh!!! Gotta go back and catch up... haven't even glanced at a blog in like three weeks. Only saw this one because it showed up in my FB feed!

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  6. I am pretty afraid of cats. Those claws! Yikes.

    Hands down dinner for me for all of the reasons you listed above. Plus I can't stay awake for a movie.

    Good luck to you guys tomorrow. I hope all goes well!

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  7. You got a great cat! Some cats are just super laid back, and it sounds like you've got one. My friend has a cat like that. You can do pretty much anything to him as long as you keep. touching. him.

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  8. You did get a great cat. I have always been a cat person, and nearly always had a cat. I used to be a bit of a cat whisperer when I was younger, talking in wild cats until they were sleeping on my bed. Should a person admit to things like that, life is too short to care what other people think I guess.

    I would take the dinner. You don't have to cook it, you don't have to clean up the mess.
    Have you tried yoga at all? I hate to sound like a freak (again) but it has been like the magic cure for the nerve pain I had radiating down the front of my leg for almost a year. It would wake me up at night and nothing seemed to help, until I started doing yoga. It flares a little now, but never anything like it was, but I am back to running and sleeping through the night.
    Happy birthday and I hope all goes well today.

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  9. Food food FOOD. Always choose food.

    Good luck for tomorrow with Faith.

    Emily

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  10. Happy Birthday! My birthday is today and we're going out tomorrow night. We chose dinner because booze and conversation are two things we don't get to do very often because of our toddler.

    I love cats. Our cat is eerily patient with our hyper toddler and will allow him to do anything he wants. However, if any one outside of our household attempts to interact or pet him, he hisses at them.

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  11. Happy Birthday!

    I always pick dinner for that same reason. I figure we can just wait and watch the movie together at home where we can also pause the movie, talk about the movie, make fun of the movie, and drink a cheap bottle of wine. Oh and it costs like 80% less.

    Good luck with Faith's testing!

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  12. I like cats, but my fiance is not a fan at all. We'll see. I have a feeling that I'll win this one....kind of like I won about getting a second dog.

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  13. You are one post away from qualifying as a crazy cat lady.

    I didn't connect the dots that your Baltimore visit is on your bday! Now I'm extra sad to miss it! Don't you secretly want to spend it in a hot elementary school with young racists?

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  14. Oh my god a movie. I looooove the movies and I never get to go anymore, it totally sucks that we timed our kids so that the oldest was just old enough to start going to the movies when I got pregnant with the second. I want to see the new X-Men movie, but I haven't even read any reviews and don't know what it's about so don't take my advice.

    My youngest is really good with our cat. She got swatted a few times when she got too rough (no blood drawn or anything, my cat ain't stupid) and figured it out real fast--they're actually very good friends now. The baby will sit in front of the cat ant put her hand out for her to sniff before she pets her, pet her twice, then do the whole thing again. It's adorable, and the cat acts like it's totally her place to be treated like a queen.

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  15. Thankfully in Austin there are Alamo Drafthouses aplenty, so I rarely have to pick between dinner or a movie. But if I do have to pick, I will dinner because I love food and I love it even more when I don't have too cook it or do the dishes.

    Cats are so weird. Mine is rarely around kids but there have been 2 occasions when I've sold furniture on Craigslist and the buyers came by with small children. Both times my cat was surprisingly fine with them petting him every which way, and one of them even got him to play with his bird toy. But the cat will still without fail attack my boyfriend's feet every time he is wearing gym socks. He won't do it to me and he won't attack dress socks, so we think it might be something about the texture of the socks that is very alluring.

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  16. 1. Happy birthday!
    2. I'm glad to hear you're getting further testing for Faith. From the details you've shared, she reminds me of my son. My experience has been that having the right diagnosis is very helpful as it guides what you do instead of floundering around managing behaviours and symptoms as they crop up. We saw quite a few specialists (pediatrician, psychiatrist, neurologist, speech pathologist, early education specialist, occupational therapists, etc) before we hit on the diagnosis that really explained everything as opposed to having multiple diagnoses

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    1. Can I ask what your son's final diagnosis is? I'm just curious because you said he reminds you of Faith!

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    2. He's on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum and like you it was at one point ruled out. A positive thing about the diagnosis is it gets him services that would otherwise be denied.

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    3. Oh golly, I wrote that while trying to get both boys ready for school... I hope I didn't make it sound like I was diagnosing Faith. My point was really just that having an accurate diagnosis can be a time-consuming process but ultimately a useful tool in guiding your decision making.

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  17. I always pick the movie because popcorn and sodas = dinner and drinks. You can talk on the ride there and home. And during the movie if you're one of those asshole-ish kind of people who do that.

    Hope you have a lovely birthday :)

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  18. Some cats are just awesome. My cat fetches, loves sitting on my lap, and isn't really into normal cat toys like string or lasers. He takes a while to warm up to strangers but after he does he follows them around like a stalker.

    My friend's cat loves strangers, being carried, and having his tail pulled (it's like 3 feet long!). He's like the perfect cat for a kid.

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  19. I grew up with very typical cats. Not mean or unfriendly, but they knew wht they wanted and time spent with people usually wasn't it.

    Now my cat gets upset if I'm gone too long or he goes too long without being cuddled. No joke. He's sweet, but a weirdo.

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  20. It would be a movie every time if I had to make a choice. Mostly because I've been married for almost thirty years and talking is over-rated when your partner has learned to block you out.

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  21. Your gifs choices are perfection. #itsacatlickbabyworld

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  22. Happy birthday!!

    Go with dinner. Movies suck these days (I can't remember seeing anything that was worth the price of a ticket) and you can't talk to your date in them. I thought I would love those movie theaters that serve food, but actually it just removes all human interaction from your evening. Everyone eats silently while watching TV.

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  23. no such thing as too much cat talk. aww i love catniss. so many sharp parts, so little survival instinct.

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  24. I'd pick the movie, but only because I never get to the movies anymore and when I do it's Godzilla. Tomorrow is my birthday, so you can bet I'll be playing The Fault in Our Stars card for that.

    When I lived with my best friend, she had two cats. One was a bitch that only liked you when it was convenient for her, but she could fetch like a dog. The other one was a total lap cat. You couldn't sit down for more than 20 seconds without the cat finding you and sitting on your lap. When we moved out, she had to get rid of them because her fiance was allergic and she was moving in with him. So they went to this family with 2 kids. We were super worried about how the cats would be around children until the family sent us a picture of the lap cat taking a bath with one of the kids, all soaped up, just sitting there being washed and loving it. WTF? How could we give up a cat like that!? Pure awesome.

    Happy Birthday to you!

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  25. Happy birthday! The cat licking the toddler gif is so cute. Our cat is very tolerant of the toddler but I discovered this morning, absolutely terrified of thunder storms!
    Anyway I'd choose a meal over the cinema, I'd probably nod off on the dark otherwise!

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  26. PROBLEM CHILD GIF!!!!!! I don't like animals, but that gif made me love this post!

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