(I had actually thought of posting this yesterday but was too lazy to find the pictures. But today I read a friend's blog and must put it up. So, for Dianne. In companionship with the loss of her Mia.)
Isaac was born into a house of cats. The common joke when I was pregnant that I would likely give birth to a kitten. I was in such strong denial that there was actually a baby in there, that when Isaac was finally born and they laid him on my chest, I looked at him, wild-eyed and startled. My first words were, "Oh... I like you!" Everyone got a chuckle out of that, but really, it was like trying to register surprise while also offering a conciliatory olive branch. As in, "Hmm, a boy. That's strange, but I guess it's okay you're not a cat."
Babies have a well-known tendency to turn the world on its head. No exception when it came to kiddo and cats. My normally mellow Emily flipped out, while my neurotic, attention whore Zap became protective mama. (In the first few weeks, when anyone knocked on the door or the phone rang, she would stand over the baby and growl.)
Isaac learned to love up his cats even before he could walk. He was always pretty gentle and Zap, especially, was always patient. When Isaac was about one, I came in the room to find his bowl empty and the cat covered in mango. When I questioned Zap about it, she seemed to shrug and looked at me like, "He's a baby. Whatteryagonnado?"
These days, we are left with just the spirit of my precious Zap and a once again mellower version of Emily - somewhere along the line she decided to allow her brother to coo at her in his high-pitched imitation of what we must sound like doing same, to pet her and comb her, show her his latest magic trick. When he's at school, she steals his plastic bugs and knocks over his block towers, just like a sister should.
I've noticed that some of these journal snippets are – I guess you could say “timeless,” as in, they could have happened ten years ago or this morning – no difference. Others, like today's, are more “period pieces,” with a context around them that zeroes in on a specific time or place.
From January 30, 2006:
Why is the cat berserkly meowing?? Is she trying to warn me the baby has stopped breathing??? No. She's just a complete pain in the ass.