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I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Neglected!

When my Old Man and I debated and debated whether to have another child, one thing that ate at me was the thought of neglecting my first child because of the demands of a baby. Or neglecting my baby because of the time and energy I needed to devote to my first child. Giving O. anything but my full attention as a mother seemed unthinkable. And, remembering how absorbed I was with O. when he was an infant, it seemed impossible to imagine caring for another baby when I had O's needs to consider, too.

Somehow, miraculously, this has all worked out. We're busy and crazy and chaotic, but somehow there is enough of every emotional resource to go around. Sure, I had to put up with having a gangly boy on my lap sometimes when I was nursing newborn Roo. (Luckily O. got over that phase, in all likelihood because I never forbade him from joining us.) And Roo has definitely spent way more time just sitting on the floor watching other people play board games than O. ever did. But she seems to dig it, and of course, she doesn't know any different.

Moreover, O. has Roo and Roo has O. They both find endless delight in the other and entertain each other on a daily basis. Sometimes too much, like when I'm trying to nurse Roo and she keeps popping up to check in on the progress of her brother's Lego city (while I sit by waiting, spraying breast milk all over the room).

No, the kids are not neglected. But, sad to say, someone in our home is neglected. Badly neglected.

The cats.

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These are our cats. The black one in the back is Blue, fourteen-year-old hypergroomer and neurotic sweetie. The gray beauty is just-beyond-kittenhood Catface, O's present from Christmas 2006, as playful and affectionate as she is attractive.

Both of these beasts have forgotten what it's like to feel the touch of the human hand. With all of our time and attention absorbed in taking care of the kids or taking care of business, and any extra physical affection we have left over after cuddling and holding our two little ones reserved for each other, the cats are animales non gratae. Even O. seems to have forgotten about them in his enthusiasm for his baby sister. They get no pets, no scratches behind the ears, no play time with their various cat toys. Occasionally Roo reaches over and grabs a fistful of fur. Other than that, they get no action.

I feel guilty about this, especially since they've begun developing odd new habits. Catface bolts up the stairs every time she hears me sit down to pee, knowing that I'm seated with my hands unoccupied and that this is her best chance for a bit of human love. Pathetic, isn't it? And Blue has begun harassing me when I'm trying to squeeze in a couple of yoga poses at the end of the day, butting her head into me while I'm in viparita karani. It's not conducive to good yoga form, I tell you.

Luckily, they have each other, and despite the difference in age, they have become close friends, sleeping in proximity, chasing each other around, and wrestling affectionately. And we keep feeding them, and filling their water dish, and cleaning out their litter. So they're still getting a free ride, even if they get no love.

4 Comments:

Blogger Candy Rant said...

Poor kitties. I AM glad they have each other.
They are so cute.

I wish I could come over and be a stand-in cat petter. But it'd be a bit of a commute.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

I'd request a shot of Blue's hypergroomed beller, but it would be probably get flagged by someone as inappropriate.

Here's to the sisterhood of neglected kitties! Glad they get along.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I totally feel the same way about my cats. Totally neglected once I had Q. But not only that, one of them started making me crazy in the head. Like if the door to the nursery was cracked open a tiny bit, and I was trying to put Q down to sleep, she would enter and announce herself with a huge MEOW. Like, come on, cat. You are not helping your case.
Anyways, the cats are honestly something I would love to wake up and see gone. I am a terrible person, but they push me beyond my limit sometimes at night when I sit down to have some alone time and they are there SO DEMANDING!!!
Argh.

8:00 PM  
Blogger sweatpantsmom said...

I know this scenario well. Our first cat (may she rest in peace) got almost no attention at all when our girls were small.

Now, with our new kitten, my 9 and 12 year olds practically smother him to death 24/7. He always looks like he's seeking out an escape route, poor thing.

2:50 AM  

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