Thursday, March 1, 2007


I feel sorry for our cat.
Eleanor is a very doglike cat I've had since Dyami and I were dating. She loves sitting on laps, having her belly scratched, and coming when she's called. (She also, appropriately for the cat of a writer, loves playing with pens. Go figure.)
She can be a little bit on the needy side. For example, she's indoor/outdoor--meaning, of course, that she wants to come in or go out five minutes after she was last in or out. We used to leave the door open for her, but various small woodland creatures (and Zizo, our friendly neighborhood mystery cat) have come into our house. Once we had a baby possum under our dishwasher that Dyami tried to get out with a remote controlled car. It didn't work.
So the doors stay closed.
Also, if she has been neglected for a while (say, we've gone on a trip) she gets sort of demanding. If you start petting her and then stop, she will swipe at your legs, claws extended, to protest. Or, if she's settled onto our bed and you try to move her, it's not pretty.
Since Lucy was born, Eleanor has been sorely neglected. All the time. This has only made her more needy.
And, unfortunatly, she is scared of children. And babies.
She has swiped at a few young friends of ours, so now we tell children to stay away from her.
This wasn't so much of a problem when Lucy was immobile: Eleanor gave her a wide berth for the first few months, which actually was great, since everyone worries about cats smothering babies. But now that Lucy is mobile, and getting faster, Eleanor's child phobia is becoming a problem.
They have had several cat/baby encounters recently, and none of them make me feel confident about leaving them in a room alone.
Lucy really is intrigued by Eleanor. When she sees her walk by, she gets this wild grin on her face and starts lunging in Eleanor's direction.
I hover close to Lucy.
Eleanor, being starved for attention, ignores Lucy and tries to hover close to me.
It's an explosive combination.
One day, I was sitting on the floor, cat on one side, baby on the other. I wanted to see if Eleanor would be more calm with me close by to prevent the possible fur grabbing or tail assaulting that might occur.
Lucy, wild-eyed, tried inching her way over my legs. Eleanor crouched, seemingly calm, as I petted her. I kept my knees raised a tad, to keep Lucy from really getting to close.
It seemed okay, until the moment that Eleanor swiped at Lucy's face.

Since that time, I have not been as fond of our cat. And I definitely get mother bearish if she's in the room. And I pay even less attention to her and sort of rudely dump her outside if she gets to close to my kid.
So poor Eleanor. She's kind of neglected.

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