One of the things I miss most about my life PD (pre divorce) is Freddie, or Brown Bear as we affectionately called him. Freddie is a rather large, over excitable chocolate
Labrador. The ex and I got him shortly before we
were married and he was part of our family in a big way. He was a nightmare
puppy, eating the fence, the shed, the door frames, the expanding foam out of
the door frame, (which required a trip to the emergency vet on Christmas Eve!!)
contact lenses, a pavlova, the contents of the bin on most days and more dog toys that I could count. But he was loyal, loving
and a great excuse for a long walk. So when the girls and I moved it was with a
heavy heart that I realised he wouldn’t be ale to come with us. My housing
options were limited to a choice of one; it is small and only has a little
court yard garden. I knew keeping him would be very impractical, but couldn't bare the part with him, so I was
really pleased when my in laws, who have always had a soft spot for him anyway,
offered to take him on. They have a lovely big garden, lots of doggy friendly
walking on their doorstep and most importantly the time he needs.
So for the last year we have been a pet free household and it did feel as though there was something missing, apart from my ex husband! I’d been thinking about getting a kitten for a while, but I am a self confessed ditherer and now I’m on my own my ability to make decisions seems to be getting worse. So I asked my four year old, IK, for her opinion on the matter. Her eyes lit up, her smile widened and he said ‘Yeah mummy, lets do it’ Decision made! As this was about a month before went away I decided to be sensible and wait till we got back, however this did mean I had a whole 4 weeks of IK chatting about the kitten and asking when we would be getting it.
I called the lady at the local cat rescue place and her response of ‘Now you do know its going to be like having a new born baby in the house?’ still makes me chuckle. I assured her that after a puppy and two babies I was quite prepared for the work involved, but my only stipulation was we had to have a female. This is a house of girls and we are not ready for any male intrusion just yet! So just over a week ago Koko (IK 's choice of name) came home and so far she has fitted very nicely into our life.
Now the only similarities I can find between her and a new born baby is they are both small and both very cute. I feed Koko three little meals a day, she has a few toys she plays with and she sits on my knee for some fuss when it suits her. She likes to hide and so far I have found her in the bathroom cupboard, in the shopping basket of the pushchair, behind the sofa and in the dolls pram. She is fluffy and has the loudest purr I think I have ever heard but she is fairly low maintenance.
My memories of both of mine being newborns are a bit hazy but they were certainly not low maintenance. There was lots of crying, from me and them, explosive nappies, so much washing and not much sleeping going on at all. There was also a general feeling of confusion about what day and time it was, should I be dressed and when exactly did I last have a shower. I often found myself wondering if either the baby or myself should be eating something, that was if could remember when either of us last did. And then there was the big one, how were we going to leave the house, ever. Taking a newborn out for the first time is a gargantuan effort and a logistical nightmare that for many new mother, awash with hormones and overly emotional, can feel the equivalent of climbing Everest!
So I can say that without doubt, having a kitten is not the same as having a newborn. Koko is a long term commitment and does need love and attention, but nothing like on the same scale as a baby….thank goodness