We have two cats, Gilbert and Calliope. They’re a little uppity if you ask me and even if they hadn’t been mentioned by Leno on the Tonight Show many years ago (and that’s its own story), I have a feeling they’d still be a little big for their britches.
The world seems divided between cat lovers and cat haters and, while that’s simplistic, you can see both sides pretty easily. On one hand, cats are relatively easy to take care of. They sleep most of the time. You never have to let them out or take them for a walk. While calling them “intelligent” is a stretch, they’re a little more emotionally sophisticated than, say, dogs.
On the other hand, they’ll destroy things in your house out of spite. And good luck teaching a cat to do anything.
Also: they openly consider murder.
If you’ve ever lived with a cat, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced it: you’re relaxing at home, with a book or in front of television. Feeling stares, you glance across the room. You see it.
A cat waits, deciding how to murder you.
If you think these maniacs won’t turn on a dime and end you over a bowl of salmon treats, brother, you don’t know how the world works. I’ve seen it. I’ve been in the $#%@. I WAS THERE.
And jealous? You don’t know the meaning of the word if you haven’t had multiple cats padding around your place… bickering, clawing, hissing and smacking each other, determined to be Top Cat. They need to win. They need to be the best. They need to take first place in your heart. And they’ll do whatever they have to do to make it happen.
Enter the triplets.
I’m not a behavioral science wizard, but I do remember when my sisters and their babies visited a few years ago. We all had a great time and, all things considered, my niece and nephew were very little trouble, particularly to the house felines. Aside from the occasional tail-tug, they were more or less angelic. But, being the age they were, they did a lot of crying and sometimes the crying got a little loud. No problem, it’s part of the deal. The cats, for their part, were basket cases. Calliope took her frustration out on my brand new and (and frankly expensive) office chair and Gilbert’s hair started getting patchy. They fought, they destroyed, they formulated cat-plans to retaliate. Fortunately, before they could paw the GO button on their Master Plan, the visit was over.
The wife is a little bent out of shape about how to handle it. Being the all-natural-PETA-sign-carrying-vegan-earth-lady that she is, taking any sort of formal action against our hairy little companions is off the table. Me, I don’t know how worried I should be. I mean, best case scenario: the cats fall in love with the little cherubs… then what? They want to sleep with them in their crib? Chances are, we’re talking about teeny, tiny, 3 lb. preemies, to start with anyhow. Can a cat accidentally suffocate a baby by sleeping on it? I’ve heard it never really happens, but do we really want to take a chance?
Or worst case… what if they hate the babies? Pretty likely, really. If I find a set of claw stripes across one of the kids’ cheeks, is that it? Cats get the boot end of story? How far is too far?
Don’t test me, cats. Oh, just don’t you test me.