Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sibling Rivalry

One of Max's first words was 'cat', and he will still often break into delighted giggles when he sees them, despite having seen them every day of his life. In spite of this, however, (or perhaps because of it), the cats are not all that fond of Max. In his earlier, less mobile days, they mostly ignored him. When he first started crawling, they ran from him. Recently, they have fought back a few times. Max, for his part, cries when he is threatened with claws, but does not absorb the long-term lessons that could be learned from the experience. He tries very hard to pet the cats, but gets excited and winds up hitting, pinching, eye-poking, or pulling fur. The latest wrinkle in the cat-baby interactions is, to me, the most interesting, and I am afraid that it is the most ominous. Max and the cats have begun deliberately competing for space. If the cats are in front of the window, Max will walk over there and shove them out of the way. If Max is sleeping in bed, Edgar will walk on him, in spite of having nine-tenths of the bed, entirely free of baby-body, to walk on. With Speck on the way, I am curious (and petrified) to see how much of Max's relationship with the cats is applicable to his relationship with a new sibling. Will he break into delighted giggles when he sees Speck? Will he try to pet the baby, only to wind up poking him or her in the eye? Or will he and Speck immediately enter into a cut-throat wrestling match for space and attention? At least Speck will (hopefully, at least) not have claws to scratch Max with, or a tail (again, hopefully) for Max to yank.


granny said...

Or it could be 2 against 2 (2 cats vs 2 bug-a-boo-eyed babies). My bets are with the babies.

Raging Wombat said...

Max should take a page out of Goblin's book and use his feline tactics to ward off Julia's affections. That would show her!