Thursday, March 17, 2011

Purrrfect Parenting?

If mothering my cat is any indication of the type of mother that I will be to my son, then, I will probably be an obsessive, over-protective worry-wart.  As I have stated before, prior to adopting Tiger, I was indifferent to most animals and even slightly annoyed if someone's dog drooled down my leg or wouldn't cease barking.  Never having pets growing up, I really did not comprehend the whole people/animal connection and was never truly empathetic on the topic of animals.

Now, with Tiger, Jon and I would sacrifice almost anything for his health and well-being--if Tiger is only a cat how will we be with our only son??  For the past two days, I have been mothering my little powder puff and pieces of my heart break away each time I see him in pain.  With each eye drop, he squeaks a little yelp of protest and then five minutes later, I have to administer another drop.  When Baby J is sick, Jon will probably muster all of his energy to not have me committed to the asylum.  Because of that damn cyborg cone wrapped around Tiger's head, his whiskers are confined, and he now has difficulty sensing spaces,  jumping, and eating and drinking (for those of you unfamiliar with cats, whiskers are a cat's sixth sense and act as another pair of eyes to help guide them).  I have attempted to wrap him up in a kitty burrito to spoon feed him, but he is already so freaked out with my numerous medical interventions, I doubt he is eating enough.  Flash-forward to a few weeks from now--is Baby J receiving enough breast milk??

Five years ago, when Jon had to say goodbye to Smokey-the-Satanical Kitty for the sake of our matrimonial harmony, I did not understand the urgency when he called me on my cell phone demanding to know my whereabouts.  I had promised that I would meet him at his apartment as soon as he returned from the vet and was running an hour and a half late.  I had insensitively explained that I went to the gym, had to run errands, etc. etc and I would be there eventually.  Poor Jon had to return to an apartment devoid of both his cat and his unsympathetic girlfriend.  I never comprehended that grieving an animal is so similar to grieving a person.

Jon also had his share of fathering his cat, as Smokey had numerous behavioral issues.  Before I met him, Smokey went through a period of anorexia and Jon had the vet install a feeding tube in his throat.  Each morning, afternoon, and evening, Jon liquefied cat food and poured it down Smokey's feeding tube.  Until one night, Smokey began choking on the contraption, Jon haphazardly ripped it out, and that was the end of the kitty-starvation-fiasco.  Smokey was eventually prescribed Prozac and other medications, but sadly, nothing could curtail his mentally deranged personality. 

Whether feline friend or foe, cats are family and can often be as helpless as infants.  Jon and I commented last night that because of our cat-parenting skills, we should be somewhat competent at parenting an infant.  Since I have not been able to meet the vet in person, we have developed a phone correspondence and he commented that "Tiger is lucky to have a good mommy."  With my daily assault of incessant questions regarding Tiger's numerous ailments, I was shocked that he actually thought I was a good mother, and not a cat-crazed-lunatic.  Now, if only I could find a pediatrician who is patient enough to deal with my constant harangue of questions and worrisome behavior....

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