One of the things I’ve been really curious — but not very concerned — about during this pregnancy has been how the pets will react to the baby. And also how I’ll react to the pets once Baby M is here. I can guess that certain behaviors that already bug me will seem much worse when I’m distracted and sleep-deprived, but I can’t see myself becoming one of those people who ignores or resents their pets after the children come along.
Anyway, on the pets’ side of things, I think the reactions will be mixed. I’m fairly positive that Beany is going to love the baby. I mean, she loves everybody else! Baby M will be a nice, warm body to cuddle up to. Beany has been extremely patient around other little kids — she’s such a curious cat and wants to be in the middle of things, but she’s good at removing herself when the attention gets to be too much, rather than lashing out. I’ll be really surprised if there is any bad blood between Beany and Baby M; it seems more likely that Beany will adopt the baby as her own and want to watch over her.
I’m much less certain about Birdy. I guess I should say that I don’t expect bad reactions from any of the pets — I have zero concern about either the cats or dogs lashing out, although I will, of course, watch their behavior as we all adjust. I wouldn’t be shocked if I don’t see Birdy for quite some time after the baby arrives, though. She tends to go into hiding when something new and unusual is happening, and the noise of a baby could cause her to hole up for a while.
On the other hand, she’s been much friendlier during this pregnancy — I swear she sensed something was up before I knew for sure. But I don’t think that will translate into an attachment to the baby. I probably just smell different (better) to her right now. Birdy likes the people she knows (which means me and sometimes Rob), so I reckon that once Baby M learns to be gentle with the animals, Birdy will be her pal. Who knows, though — Birdy is happiest when she’s sleeping on my bed, especially if I join her. So maybe she’ll join in when we’re camped out in my room during the first couple of weeks. I would love to be surprised and have Birdy instantly bond with the baby, but it doesn’t seem as likely as it does with Beans.
By the way, I took these photos after a package had been delivered the other day. Beany immediately hopped in the box, being a cat and all. Birdy found all the plastic packaging and sat on it. There’s nothing as good as licking a plastic bag, if you’re a Birdy cat. She’s weird.