Pre-Admission and our Pets - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pre-Admission and our Pets

This is our cat, Scootch. This is our cat, Scootch.
Scootch is the original "Baby" of our family. Scootch is the original "Baby" of our family.
This is one of our Uromastyx lizards, Simon.  He has a twin brother named Simon. This is one of our Uromastyx lizards, Simon. He has a twin brother named Simon.

Since we're only 10 days from the "only-a-month-away" point, Billy and I have (I think) made all of our "before baby" arrangements.  We have a pre-admission tour at the hospital on Sunday, a tour and interview with a daycare on Tuesday, a pre-admission meeting and paperwork-signing next week at the hospital, and of course, weekly doctors' appointments start the week after next.  It feels a little like preparation for a big vacation - we've even arranged for someone to check in on Scootch (our cat) when we're in the hospital. 

Speaking of the cat, I'm a little worried about her.  Now that she's adjusted to the new house, I'm worried about her adjusting to the new baby.  I've heard lots of advice about keeping the baby safe from the cat, but hadn't heard much about keeping the cat happy and safe.  Apparently, cats are attracted to warm things that smell like milk (things like babies) and have actually suffocated infants by laying on them.  We plan to prevent this with constant supervision.  If one of us isn't in the room to watch the baby, then the nursery door is closed with the cat on the outside.  They make crib and bassinet-covers (http://www.amazon.com/0001-Cozy-Crib-Tent/dp/B000056HLX) intended to keep pets out and babies in if you can't supervise all the time - but I still believe that you can't beat simply watching the baby and the cat - just to be sure. 

So what about pets and new babies?  Scootch has her routines and her space; she also has "family time" that she's become accustomed to.  Having a new little pink squishy thing in the house to hog all of her snuggle and petting time could put a lot of stress on her.    She is the original "baby" of our home. 

A little back story on Scootch:  Back when Billy and I lived in Browne's Addition, we were making our way home on foot from The Swamp late one night and this tiny black and white kitten was crying from the weeds next to the railroad tracks.  She came out of the grass and started circling Billy's feet.  She followed us up to the Sunset Highway, meowing all the way and just as we were about to cross the highway, we realized that she was wandering out into traffic.  Billy picked her up (she was very skinny and had no identification on her) and carried her across the street.  We decided that she'd come home with us and in the morning we'd call SCRAPS and Spokanimal to make sure she wasn't someone else's lost kitten.  Billy decided that if she was unclaimed and we were going to keep her, we'd name her "Scootch". 

I asked, "why Scootch?" 

He replied, "that way I won't have to say more than one word when I want her to move."

She adapted to that tiny apartment very well and immediately knew how to use a litter-box.  She made herself right at home and curled up at the end of the bed to go to sleep.  The next morning, we found out that we could keep her - and the rest is history.  She has run our household ever since.  She has adapted to new homes well (one other apartment and now the new house), but with her own little quirks.  Before we had her de-clawed, she used to climb the walls of our apartment - literally, she would climb the wall all the way up to the ceiling and then meow at us as if to say, "look how high I am!"  She is quite the character. 

So you can see, we want our little baby to be comfortable and happy when our new baby arrives.  I found a resource online from the Humane Society of the U.S. that talks directly about helping your pets cope with the arrival of a new baby.  Here's a link: http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/introducing_your_pet_and_new_baby.html

We're not quite as worried about our other pets adjusting (we also have twin Uromastyx lizards named Simon and Simon) to Victor.  Simon & Simon live in a glass tank and hardly interact with us...so I really can't see them even noticing that there's a new tiny person around the house.
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