Furbaby and Baby Introduction
By: Melanie Braga
Our pets are more than just pets as they become a part of our family. When my husband and I moved into a place of our own, we knew that we wanted to share our lives with a furry family member. Instead of purchasing a kitten from a pet store, we decided that adopting a cat would be a better option for us. We adopted our furbaby, Lily (6 years old), from a humane society in 2009 and she instantly brought great joy to us. Lily got lots of love and attention as she was our one and only. So as soon as we got the news of a baby entering our lives, we knew we had to start early in teaching Lily that a new family member will be joining us. With time and care we knew that they would become the best of friends really early on.
During my pregnancy and during preparation for the arrival, we would allow Lily to smell all the baby clothes and any other items we had for the baby. The beautiful part is that animals’ sense change and Lily knew that something was coming. Lily would lie her head on my tummy many times and our vet told us that she can hear the baby which we thought was amazing!
Before Baby Arrived Home
Since I had to stay in the hospital for a couple of days, it gave us the opportunity to bring home the blanket that our baby was wrapped in home first. My husband brought it home and allowed Lily to smell the blanket and kept it in a spot that Lily would sleep on. This blanket became Lily’s blanket and she loved it.
Baby Nikki Arrives Home
When we got home from the hospital we brought the car seat into our bedroom and placed it on our bed for Lily to see. Lily looked in the car seat and slowly smelled the baby. Lily just looked at my husband with inquiring eyes. We told Lily that her sister has arrived and that our love has just tripled for her. One more person to now love Lily and for Lily to love.
Baby Love and Bond
As the days turned to months, we slowly taught Lily what was ok to do and what was not ok to do with a baby. Lily learned quickly and bonded with Nikki very early on. At first, it was frightening for Lily to hear baby screams and cries but she adjusted quickly. Now Lily will run to Nikki if she is crying in pain and won’t leave our side until Nikki is ok. It’s amazing how Lily can tell the difference between a pain cry and just a fussy cry. Lily follows Nikki everywhere she goes and loves to play with her. The bond between them has been beautiful to see grow.
Cat Love and Bond
Not only do we need to teach our furry family members how to interact with our babies, we as parents have to teach our babies how to interact with them as well. Of course, only as Nikki got older we started showing her how to interact with Lily. Babies can be very rough as they don’t know any better so I knew I had to patiently teach her how to pet and love Lily. Now at 15 months of age, Nikki pets Lily with lots of love and as she pets, we say “nice”. This way she knows to be gentle. Many times Nikki wants to hug and kiss Lily but of course Lily being a cat is a big fan but she never complains. Nikki just adores Lily and every other cat and dog she meets.
The bond that they have created is heartfelt and sincere. I know that the love they have for each other will be treasured for the rest of their lives. We couldn’t see our life without either one of these precious babies together.
– Momma Braga