Before my wife and I had a baby, I thought I was familiar with all of my cat’s looks: happy, tired, bored, tired, hungry, tired, playful, tired. But after the baby arrived and the cat started looking at the baby, I began to see a new expression on the cat’s face: Complete confusion, often followed by utter incomprehension. Especially during potty time.
I began to wonder what, exactly, the cat thought about things like nap time and potty time and playtime and mealtime. It couldn’t be good, I figured, and it wasn’t.
What it is: A battle in which parents try to get the baby to eat something resembling any of the food groups that is not mac and cheese before settling on mac and cheese.
What the cat thinks: That. Is. Disgusting — unless that’s chicken. Is that chicken? That smells a little bit like chicken. Just let me get a little sniff there and … ah, I see. Seasoning. Get that disgusting crap out of my face, if you don’t mind. I’d rather starve.
What it is: A battle in which mommy and daddy coax, cajole, and ultimately force baby into 60 gallons of water.
What the cat thinks: You know what? That baby has the right idea. Also, the both of you are lunatics. You try that with me and one of us is going to need a doctor and a few years of psychotherapy, you follow? You think the baby’s tongue is for lapping up drool? BE A PARENT. Start with long strokes, shoulder to paw. There’s no cause to drown the baby. I’ll be under the bed until this stops.
What it is: You know what it is.
What the cat thinks: HOLD EVERYTHING. Unless I’m on catnip — and I probably am — but I think I just saw that baby you have there do its business DIRECTLY into those weird shorts it always wears. Am I right about that? And you’re okay with that? And are you really going to cheer and applaud every time the baby does that?
Where might one get something like that?
What it is: A battle in which the baby hits things against other things, ending abruptly when the baby turns its attention toward the cat and proceeds toward it ….
What the cat thinks: Are you trying to touch my tail? Don’t touch my tail! I’m a predator! I will swipe! Don’t think I won’t swipe! I’m getting ready to swipe! I don’t care who you have protecting you! Hey, what’s this — you’re chasing me? Nobody chases me! I chase! I do the chasing! This isn’t a game! I chase! Stop chasing! I will swipe! I’m getting ready to swipe!
What are you, anyway? You’re like that psychotic dog next door, aren’t you? And you’ve been growing, haven’t you?
What it is: A battle in which mommy and daddy spend hours reading to baby before creeping out of the room like ninjas leaving the Forbidden City after stealing a princess. After which the baby bursts out crying.
What the cat thinks: Oh, this is rich. Can’t sleep, little fella? Allow me to zzzzzzzz. Oh, excuse me, I just fell asleep for a second. Ha ha! Zzzzzzz. AM I BLOWING YOUR MIND, BABY? Watch this: I’m awake, meow, and zzzzzzzzzz. ARE YOU GLAD YOU BOUGHT THAT BABY NOW, DAD? Go back to the bush leagues, kid. What a rookie. If you need me I’ll be zzzzzzzzz. This is hysterical.
This is just beautiful.