Editor’s Note: Did you know that nearly 50 percent of Catster readers have kids as well as cats? I was poking around Comscore recently, looking at site demographics, and when I saw this I realized we don’t often talk about juggling human-parenting and cat-herding responsibilities in our articles. Angie Bailey, our resident cat humor writer, also happens to be a phenomenal mom — I follow her on Facebook and often wish I could adopt her as MY mom when she posts about her kids — so I invited her to be our voice on the subject and fill this void on the site.
This is the first edition of what we hope will be a fun feature you’ll look forward to each Thursday. And if you have kids as well as cats, we absolutely want to hear from you. Tell us what kind of articles you’d like to see on Catster about parenting two- and four-leggers, and we’ll do our best to oblige. — Janine Kahn, EIC
Welcome to the first installment of the shiny new “Kids, Cats, Chaos!” column. Each Thursday we’ll meet right here and lightheartedly dissect daily life spent with cats and kids, which are really way more similar than one might assume.
My brood includes one daughter, one son, and three cats. Oh, then there’s my long-suffering husband, who still politely looks interested when I show him yet another photo of a cat lying in a box. Bless his heart. Although my kids are now teens, they’ve lived alongside pussycats their whole lives. They knew how to use a pooper scooper before they could snap a couple of Legos together. I kid, but it’s not too far from the truth.
Those of us who regularly respond to the demands of those who cry “Mmoom!” and those who cry “Meoooow!” can relate on a few different levels. Can you identify with more than a couple of the following statements?
You know you share you home with kids as well as cats if:
Babies and cats are total poop machines, and we’re constantly cleaning up after them. Somebody needs to invent a baby changing table with a built-in litter box underneath. Unsanitary? Maybe, but you’ve eaten Cheerios off the floor, right? Don’t lie.
Usually this is done in a moment of total chaos. You’re trying to find somebody’s field trip permission slip that you swore you left on top of the pile of “things I need to keep, but not sure what to do with this very second” and notice the cat has jumped on the counter and is licking the milk from the cereal bowl that should have been placed in the dishwasher, but then the child got “busy.” You know, the Nintendo DS isn’t going to play itself.
Cats and children both love the magical moment of reunion with a toy they’d written off because it “disappeared.” Once we’ve moved the sofa or used a broom to swipe wayward action figures and jingle balls from underneath the bed, the excitement is palpable.
Although my teenagers drag their butts out of bed around noon these days, there was a time they arose at cat o’clock, which is early. Every weekend, I’d open my eyes to see furry as well as non-furry needy little faces staring at me. “Hi. Feed me.”
I think all parents can relate to that panicky urgency of trying to get a child to the bathroom before she hurls all over the bed or the hallway carpet. I know I’ve cleaned up my share of 2 a.m. hallway vomit. I’ve also awoken to the telltale hack-hack-hack of a vomitty hairball being expelled in another room. Then the hunt is on to find the hairball before we step on it. At least there’s no trouble locating people vomit.
My mom used to say, “If I were eating a turd, you’d want a bite of it.” Kids and cats always want bites of whatever is on our plate, and they usually have absolutely no idea what we’re eating. I admit to still wanting bites of other people’s food. But I always know what it is — and it’s never a turd.
Let me tell you about the photos that currently live on my camera phone: Band concert, prom-shopping, cat in laundry basket, cat in Easter basket, kids making silly faces — and bizarre, random shots of things like toilets, Grandma’s sweat-suited butt, and an image of Spongebob on the TV. My son enjoys swiping my phone and loading it up with surprise photos for me. Thankfully, my sense of humor is not unlike that of a 15-year-old boy.
We’re not going to wave this fact around in everyone’s faces, but it’s true. Sure, your kid looks adorable in that sweater with the bird on it. But have you seen my daughter in the tabby-cat-print overalls? And your cat likes to curl up in the sink? That’s nothin’ — my cat sleeps in a giant empty Raisin Bran box. I even have a photo to prove it — look on my phone. What? Oh, that’s just Grandma’s butt. Keep looking.
In what ways are your kids and cats alike? Tell us about it in the comments!
About the Author: Angie Bailey is a weird girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Wrote a ridiculous humor book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.
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