New Baby and 4 Cats: One Mom's Adventure
By Nora Zelevansky
Photo by cheiadapurpurina.tumblr.com
This may sound insane, but when I found out I was pregnant last year, one of my first concerns was my cat, Mina.
I’ve had Mina for almost 15 years. She is a Siamese, so she’s fairly high-strung and needy. And she hates high-pitched noises. Though she’s generally sweet and affectionate, when I sing, she literally growls, stalks me and tries to take me down. My voice is bad, but not that bad.
So I worried: What would she do when the baby cried?
My other cat, Waldo, was less of a concern; he’s an American Snowshoe (we think) and a big bruiser rescue. My husband, Andrew, and I figured he would either run away from the baby or want to cuddle with her.
But then a friend raised the issue of Waldo climbing into the crib for warmth and suffocating the baby accidentally and we had something new to fret about. (It turns out that this phenomenon is just an urban legend. The now-recalled cat tents and netting for cribs that parents bought to keep babies safe are more dangerous than the animals.)
Other helpful friends suggested we get rid of our cats altogether: “You won’t care about them anymore once the baby comes,” they predicted. That was hard for us to imagine - we’re pretty attached to our animals.
It turns out that welcoming our first child did, indeed, involve cat-related drama - but it was nothing like what we expected.
A New Home — With New Cats
Late in my pregnancy, we discovered black mold in our New York City apartment. Our landlord dragged her feet for so long that we had no choice but to vacate. The baby was due any minute, and we couldn’t bring her home to that mold! We had to go somewhere that was safe, that was available immediately and where we could stay indefinitely. And we needed to bring both cats, of course.