Friday, February 22, 2008

Hairless Kitten

Each time we've brought Conrad home from the pediatrician, the cats have been waiting for us at the door. Siegfried and Roy have a look on their faces that says, "Oh, crap. They brought it back again." Not the most adaptable kitties at the best of times, the two of them seem to know that something major has changed, and they know they don't much like it. Roy, extraterrestrial freaky being that he is, expresses his displeasure by sitting on the floor next to our bed meowing plaintively, as if to say, "I want to get up there, but I'm afraid of the small yellowish thing." (If you're a fan of Homestar Runner, Roy is basically Strong Sad).

Roy is only visiting our planet

Roy seemed to know this was coming, and spent the night before we went to the hospital in the emergency vet's office, where $735 later it was confirmed once again that we have a nervous kitty who pukes a lot for no known medical reason. Interesting side note: thanks to insurance, our total out-of-pocket expenses for having an entire human baby were only about half of that (meals included).

Siegfried, in her characteristic diva fashion, is basically pretending none of this is happening. Weeks ago she decided that Conrad's room was hers, and runs in there expecting a petting on the new rug whenever we walk by. I expect quite a star fit when we eventually move him in there.

"All right Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up."

Hastings, on the other hand, has seemed to get it from the start. It's as though he knows Conrad is one of our young, and he's not going anywhere. Long a fierce competitor for our attention and a spot under my chin at night, he has ceded his place without complaint, and appears happy - even grateful - for a spot at the foot of the bed.

He also doesn't seem particularly bothered by Conrad. He's sniffed him a couple of times and yesterday gave him a small lick on the top of his head, which visitors to our home know is the Hastings seal of approval.

Hastings did seem to have a little bit of trouble understanding when we installed a baby nest thing in his usual spot between us in the bed. He let us know in no uncertain terms that it would serve well as a cat bed, but once we made it clear it wasn't for him, he found his own space.

Do you mind?

I drove around yesterday to a couple of different stores trying to find the baby nest thing because it seemed really important, and now after a night of using it I can't remember why. I think we thought being closer to us would help Conrad sleep better, and we'd be better able to nurse and comfort him without getting up. So far the net effect is we hear every squeak and burble right in our ears, and it's no easier to pick him up because you end up kneeling on the mattress, leaning over to pick him up out of the nest while trying to keep your balance. Sounds like it would be a good Pilates exercise. We'll give it another night.

Conrad's fine with the baby nest thing

In case anyone's worried, we only let the cats in the room when we're awake and paying attention. When we go to sleep, we exile them and close the door.

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