Thursday, September 22, 2011

A cat’s forgiveness

Before Ava was born, Coco was our baby. Sweet, furry, affectionate Coco.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, she would try to climb up on my balloon-esque tummy at night. I guess it looked like a comfortable spot to doze. Inevitably, she would end up curled up in a ball right by my pillow for the night. As far as she was concerned, our bed was hers and our only purpose in being there was to pet her. Imagine the rude awakening she faced when Nick and I brought home a baby.

For her first two weeks at home, Ava slept in a co-sleeper in the middle of our bed. Needless to say, Coco wasn't allowed in the room, let alone the bed. That first night, I barely slept. Around 2 a.m., there was a loud "thud" on our bedroom door. Coco had thrown herself against the door and started to squeel like she was in heat. She was not happy about our new arrival or the fact that we had locked her out of our room.

For the next three weeks, I literally didn't have one spare moment to spend with Coco. I felt so guilty neglecting her, but it was all I could do to care for Ava, try to care for myself, and get a little sleep in between. Thankfully, Nick found some time here and there to love on Coco.

When Ava was about a month old, she was napping one day and I went searching for Coco. I found her in her usual spot - reclining on the front window bench. I reached down to pet her and she backed away, hissed at me and dashed to the kitchen. She wasn't sad anymore. She was furious.

Little by little, over the next few weeks, I worked on mending fences with Coco - giving her treats and catnip and making time to ease my way back into her good graces. I must admit I never anticipated having to seek a cat's forgiveness. But Coco has finally come around and I am grateful to have it.

Now, with 17-week-old Ava happily asleep in her crib each night, Coco has reclaimed her place - about one square foot of mattress right by my pillow.

Rachel Raya is a Public Relations Manager for Texas Health Resources and Mom to Coco and a baby girl.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, poor kitty. Our terrier mix had been around kids before (my stepsons were 5 and almost 2 when they were all introduced to each other), but a baby-baby was something new for her. Sadie (the dog) has definitely had "I'm the baby" moments where she tries to claim my lap or shows teeth to the now mobile munchkin who is ENAMOURED of her. But otherwise, she's adjusted pretty well. I'm glad you were able to get back in Coco's good graces. I imagine woo-ing a cat is much harder than regaining a pup's loyalty!