I want to start by saying I think cats are awesome, I have Facebook and YouTube, I know cats are pretty cool. Unfortunately I’m allergic to cats, so I can never own one myself even if I wanted to.
I have friends with cats though. I was talking to one friend when our baby was a couple of months old and I said to her I was so tired from night feeds, she said “Oh I know how you feel, *cats name* kept me up all night too.” I fought the temptation to ask if her cat breastfed hourly too, but I decided to just smirk, and nod. I just smugly thought, just you wait.
More recent conversations with cat owners have led me to believe that cat ownership would be harder than motherhood. I really don’t think I could handle all the gross or unpleasant things cats can do, which I hear are not unlike the gross and unpleasant things my kids do.
But I can handle baby poo, vomit, pee, or being scratched and bitten by a disgruntled toddler – because they’re my babies. I carried them, birthed them, fed them at my breast. I love them unconditionally. I would literally die for them. So like the time the baby took her nappy off, pooped and then crawled through it – pfft, doesn’t even make the list of top ten hardest things I’d be willing to do for my baby. If I had a cat, who pooped, then walked through it, smeared it all over themselves and the floor, I don’t even know where I would begin to deal with that.
Or when my son had gastro and wave after wave of projectile vomiting all over the floor, couch, and several times all over me, I still held him too me while he cried because he’s my precious little dude. I just can’t imagine feeling that much open love for anything other than my own babies if I was covered in puke. Cat puke – not something I think I could handle.
Also, friends with cats talk about how they wake them by crawling onto the bed and nudging them until they wake up to feed them or play. My children do the exact same thing. Again, doesn’t make the top ten of hardest things I’d do for my kids, every morning I haul myself out of bed at first light to put on cartoons, make toast, and drink coffee. But I just don’t think I could tolerate being woken by a cat.
And finally, there have been occasions where nappies have leaked, or accidents have happened, in my bed, where I’ve been soaked in little person wee (or worse), and we just get up and deal with it, no drama, but if I had a cat and it wet MY bed that cat would be up for cat-adoption.
So I’d like to apologise to cat owners everywhere, I withdraw my smug looks and smirks at comparisons of cat ownership and motherhood, because while the cat owners I know would make wonderful mothers, I’ll admit – I would make a terrible cat owner.
Do you find babies or cats harder to deal with?