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Pets: The Perfect Pregnancy Preparation?

When I was around 6 months pregnant, my husband brought home a tiny grey kitten. He was dapper and sophisticated, yet overwhelmingly lovable.

Naturally we named him Tim Gunn.

And we loved Tim Gunn with everything we had — bringing him on weekend trips, rushing home to cuddle, making sure he was healthy and happy. Even though I was busy growing a human, this was the first time my husband and I had actively taken care of another living thing together. And we were good at it.

For those next few months, Tim Gunn was our life.

Cut to us bringing home the baby.

Tim adjusted well to our newest addition — never swatting or pouncing. Yet there was something about the situation that made us uncomfortable.

 

Tim always wanted to be thisclose to newborn Noah. His favorite place to sleep was in Noah’s bassinet, and as much as we tried to lock Tim out from our bedroom (where he had always slept), he still managed to sneak his way into the bassinet. I had nightmares of finding Tim laying on Noah’s face, smothering him to death. And then when Noah started to kick and flail, Tim’s playfulness had us worried.

So long story short: We ended up giving our beloved Tim Gunn to my sister-in-law — where he could be loved and attended to the way he deserved. As much as Tim prepped my maternal instincts, I had to do what was best for my child.

And now that we’re on the verge of pregnancy #2, another cat has unexpectedly come into our lives.

Luke is recovering from a severe case of flea anemia, so we’ve happily taken him into our home to nurse him back to health. Ironically, while Tim gave me my first maternal experience, Luke is showing me what it’s like to care for an extremely at-need loved one and a toddler at the same time.

Luke can’t eat on his own, so I have to syringe feed him a hefty amount of food (which can take awhile) as well as water every four hours around the clock. He’s also too weak to use the litter box, so I have to change his padding and wipe him clean every day as well. And of course I like to carve out quality time to pet and love, as per the vet’s request. It’s time consuming and heart-wrenching, for sure, but Noah has certainly stepped up to the plate, offering to help as much as he can.

Now I know that having a sick cat isn’t exactly like bringing home a newborn (especially not when it comes to jealousy), and I know that Tim Gunn didn’t prep me for all of the typical new mom experiences (breastfeeding, nap schedules, etc.).

But maybe these cats have simply given me the confidence to know that I can handle whatever situation is looming in my future.

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