Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Baby Changes Everything

            The popular saying is true.  I can’t say I understand what it is like to be a parent of a child, but I do know what it is like to be a parent of a pet and in some respect, it is quite the same.
            Similar to bringing a new baby home, bringing Valentine home is an adjustment and a learning experience for all of us.  For Zanzibar, there is a feeling of his territory being invaded by a newcomer, hostility toward Valentine, but also a sense of curiosity about her.  He has to learn what it means to share the space that he has known to be his.  For Valentine, it is learning about her environment and its creature comforts, learning about Zanzibar and which of his creature comforts he is willing to share (and not share), and learning about us.  For Chris and me, we are learning about Valentine and the relationship between her and Zanzibar, how to treat our babies with equal amounts of attention and love, and worrying about their health and safety.
            For the most part they seem to get along with only a few moments where we have to break them up and we have lost some sleep over it.  Last night, for example, Zanz and I slept in the living room while Val and Chris slept in the bedroom.  Even though we are restless, we are lucky.  According to PAWS, the “blanket” (or sock) method of introducing cats should be gradual and for most cats, friendships take eight to 12 months to develop.  For some, friendships never occur.  The cats simply live together, attempting to avoid each other at all times.  Because the introduction did not occur as planned, we cannot expect Zanzibar and Valentine to be immediate best friends, but I think that one day they will be.  What I’ve seen is that they can be in the same room and neither one is avoiding each other. 
            In fact, currently both are sleeping on the tower.  Zanz is in the lower cubby while Val is chilling on the top.  It’s peaceful in the apartment, where the only sounds that are heard are the humming of the heater and the computer keys being hit.  It’s quite nice.  My babies are safe, healthy, and happy.  That’s all that matters.  Isn’t that all that parents want for their children?  

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