Today is my due date. The doctors, in all their medical and scientific wisdom, tell me I'm going to have a baby. A little boy, to be exact. His name will be Elliot and he will be my sun and moon and stars for the rest of my life. He is going to be my first, and I am scared beyond all belief.
I'm scared for the normal reasons, of course: the pain, the blood, the possible medical mishaps... but also I'm scared of bringing him home. His brother and sister might not like him.
I can hear you now "wait, wait, wait, I thought he was your first!"
He is. My first human baby.
But I have cats.
And that could pose a problem, since I appear to be included in their territory. They put up with my husband decently well, but that has a lot to do with him being quite a bit larger than they are. Even together in their wiliness they have trouble out-smarting him. But a baby is another matter. A small, pink, soft, squalling mess of life that is about to be deposited soundly in their territory.
A little background:
I currently live in a one bedroom apartment with my husband TJ, my best friend Angela, and our three cats. Moo and Squeak are mine, and Angela's boy's name is Chimi. Chimi is the oldest at 7, followed by 4-year-old Moo and Squeak is the current baby at 2. We have been living all of us together for a little over a month now, and the cats have not yet settled.
Before Chimi and Angela moved in TJ and I had been living together in various states of room-matedness for almost 8 years. Ever since we got Moo, he had been sleeping in our bedroom with us. When we got Squeak a similar thing happened, but after a few nights it became apparent that the people we had procured her from had lied about her age, and she was not yet old enough to distinguish between the bed and a litterbox. At that juncture, the cats began sleeping in the living room. This carried on quite well until I became pregnant. It didn't make sense until after the tests came back positive, but suddenly squeak would not leave my side. When bedtime came she would run into the bedroom and become extremely affectionate. Suddenly the cat who had been spending most of her nights smushing the same pillow on the couch into a perfect imprint of her sleeping form needed to be directly next to me, sometimes headbutting me repeatedly until I cuddled her closer. Moo began sleeping on the floor directly to the side of the bed. I felt very loved, and very warm, which i welcomed, this being the beginning of Autumn.
When the test results came back we realized we'd have to break the cats of their new sleeping habits as quickly as possible. It would not do to have to disentangle a cat or two every time I needed to wake up for a night feeding, and worse, what if they tried to sleep with the baby?
While Moo took being kicked out with a certain level of integrity, Squeak did not. Our bedroom door now proudly displays several battle wounds; Squeak has a penchant for clawing at doors until they open to her. Eventually she calmed down, though it took a few weeks.
When Angie and Chimi moved in, however, it started again. Originally we couldn't get Squeak out of the bathroom for almost a week, and when she did leave, she wriggled her way between someone's legs (ok, probably my legs) and right into the bedroom. Where she promptly showed her displeasure at our new roommates. We thought perhaps if we brought a litterbox into the bedroom we could help ease this, but to no avail. She had to be kicked out again, and this time she did not stop abusing the door until we wrapped the entire bottom half in duct tape, sticky side out.
So in summation: I'm about to have a baby. My cats are territorial and at least one of them likes clawing things. We have three adults and three cats living in a one bedroom apartment. This should be interesting.