I am almost positive my 8-month-old is a cat. You may think that’s a little extreme, but as a lifetime cat owner, I’ve had years of experience with the house cat species, and my baby is showing all the signs.
1. They play with anything not bought specifically for them to play with.
It’s well-known that cats are fond of cardboard boxes, bits of string, and anything you didn’t buy for them. My cat is also fond of attacking Puffs my son has dropped on the floor.
Upon spying a cardboard box, my child will squeal with delight and crawl as fast as he can to play with it (i.e. sit in it and stare out at the world). When cords and wires are foolishly left on the floor, he gnaws on them with gusto.
A few days ago he found our cat’s stash of toys, and seconds later he was chasing her tinkle ball around the floor (the same ball my cat has ignored since the day we bought it). Meanwhile, his toys with their flashing lights and bright colors gather dust in the corner.
2. They have similar playing styles.
Honestly, I may have encouraged this a little bit as a way to get some time for myself. I’m not totally sure where he picked it up, but my son will paw balls around the house and catch up to them only to paw them away again. When he’s done with the object, my cat will often pick up where the baby left off.
They have also both been known to chase after the light of a laser pointer (I know, I’m a terrible parent) and to grab or swat at anything and everything within their reaches.
And just the other afternoon I caught my son in his crib, holding his stuffed animal in his hands and kicking at it with his feet (classic cat behavior).
3. They cry to get attention.
My cat cries if she’s hungry (always), wants to be let outside to play, or wants to be loved.
My child cries if he’s hungry, wants to play, or wants to be loved.
4. They treat me like a servant.
My cat expects me to feed her, clean up her waste, brush her, entertain her, and cuddle her.
My child expects me to feed him, but he also expects to get a taste of anything I’m putting into my mouth (including a toothbrush). He expects me to clean up his waste, even going so far as to require me wiping his nether regions. He refuses to clean himself, which of course means I must bathe him.
When he’s bored he’ll whine until I am on the floor with him, teaching him to play with his toys. When he’s sad or playful, he requires cuddles, hugs, tickles, and kisses.
5. They favor some areas of the house over others.
My cat’s favorite places include her food bowl, her litter box, and anywhere she is out of my baby’s reach.
My baby’s favorite places include the cat’s food bowl, the cat’s litter box, and anywhere the cat is hiding from him.
They also both love being wherever I am — whether that involves crowding me and asking for bites when I try to eat a meal, sticking their paws under the bathroom door, or slaloming through my legs when I’m trying to make dinner.
6. They’re extremely moody.
Both my cat and my child have moments of mania and moments of grumpiness — often within seconds of each other.
The cat will often tear around the house in her manic phase, running as fast as she can and staring at any small noise. The child will giggle uncontrollably and try to squirm in every direction at once.
And, just as quickly as the moment began, it will end. The cat will hide and sulk, the child will whine and cry.
7. They have moments of bipedalism and quadrupedalism.
While both my cat and child most commonly travel on all fours, both have been known to rise on two legs in order to reach something desirable (food, something breakable, a toilet paper roll …).
8. They make as many messes as possible.
When the cat is eating, she loves to get the food into her mouth, and then crunch and bite it while standing next to her bowl, resulting in crumbs all around her bowl.
When the child is eating, he loves to drop his food on the floor, smear it around his face and clothes, and generally get it everywhere but inside his mouth.
When my cat sees anything precariously placed on a table, counter, or shelf, she rises to the occasion and shows us why that was a bad placement.
When my child sees cords attached to phones, iPods, or laptops, he will pull the cord until the object comes smashing to the ground.
Anything within reach of these two is fair game to become the next mess in the house.
9. They’re adorable and get away with practically anything.
Nobody is immune to the large eyes, button nose, tiny paws, and overall cuteness of cats and babies.
They cry, make messes, and annoy you while you’re working, but the moment they curl up in your lap and cuddle against you, you will forgive them anything.
It’s also been scientifically proven that everybody experiences swells of love and adoration the moment their own personal mess-maker (be it cat or child) falls asleep. Okay, it hasn’t really been scientifically proven, but imagine what an awesome experiment that would be. Somebody do this.More On