Get Back, Honky Cat

September 3, 2009 at 11:01 am 24 comments

Today’s post is one that kind of hurts me to write, so I shall begin with a soothing layer of Elton John.


Ahhh, that’s better. Also: cocaine is one hell of a drug.

Remember back in January when I was all bent out of shape about what the arrival of the baby would do to my relationship with Tootsie? And how I was bound and determined not to let her get downgraded to “just an animal” in my mind? Well, it is time to talk about that.

[Here is where I would normally insert a recent picture of Tootsie, except that I HAVE NO RECENT PICTURES OF TOOTSIE. Sigh.]

The night we left for the hospital, I took a picture of Tootsie with my cell phone – partly because I wanted to capture the look of “OH, SHIT” that she was somehow managing to express, but mostly because I knew that when I returned, she would no longer be the baby of the house.

[Here is where I wanted to insert the picture of Tootsie I took that night, but unfortunately I got a new phone in late April and have subsequently lost that photo, which I didn’t realize until now. Sigh.]

Up until having Sadie, I always, always missed Tootsie when I was away from home. Even when I was at work, I’d take one look at her (framed!) picture on my desk and look forward to her OMGI’MSOGLADYOU’REHOME snuggles I’d receive that evening. When I was in the hospital, though, I’m pretty sure the only time I thought about Tootsie was when I asked my Mom to give her fresh water and make sure she had enough food. And that’s perfectly normal, I know, since I had bigger, more vaginally-challenging issues at hand. And to my credit, the focal point I used during labor was the little cartoon of Tootsie I asked Brad to draw on the whiteboard at the foot of my bed.

[Here is where I would insert the picture of said drawing that I KNOW I took, but have no clue of its whereabouts.]

But I know for a fact that I did not actively miss Tootsie while I was in the hospital, and when I arrived back at home with Sadie in tow amidst a flood of postpartum tears, I didn’t even bother to seek her out.

[Here is where I justify all of that by explaining that HI, I had just HAD A BABY, and my Mom was staying at the house, and houseguests always make Tootsie skittish and prone to hiding, so it’s not like she was all up in my grill and I was ignoring her.]

Add to this the fact that we were sleeping on the 2nd floor (and not on the 3rd floor, where our bedroom/Tootsie’s refuge is located), and I just didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities to even cross paths with her. I figured things would even out a little more after my Mom left and we could all settle into a more regular routine.

Then, my Mom left. Tootsie would venture downstairs more often, but still steered pretty clear of Sadie (and therefore, me). But any time I had to dash upstairs for a change of clothes or my toothbrush? Girlfriend was constantly at my feet, all “I LOVE YOUUUUU!” and “PET MEEEEEEEEE!” and “NOW I SHALL CHASE YOUR ANKLES!”

[Here is where I wish I could tell you I had a very heartwarming reaction to her pleas for my attention.]

Internet, as you may have heard, babies are needy. NEEEEEEDY. They are adorable little warm and fuzzy bundles of constant, straight up need. Honestly, I didn’t think the neediness was affecting me at all (I liked that she needed me so much!), but then Sadie would be hungry after what seemed like two nanoseconds since the last (painful) feeding and I’d find myself thinking I JUST WANT TEN MORE MINUTES, TEN STINKING MINUTES to eat a bowl of cereal and stare into space without someone NEEDING something from me. My reaction would always kind of surprise (and shame) me, especially because it made Sadie out to be the cause of my frustration and NO! She’s not! I love her! I love that she’s here! I just…like cereal, is all.


When I’d run upstairs and find myself immediately confronted with Tootsie’s special brand of PET-ME-OR-I’LL-DIE guilt, I’d get annoyed. Annoyed. And because Tootsie is a cat and not my offspring, I’d let myself be annoyed. HERE, here’s a pat on the head already, now GOD, get out of my way, CAT – I have, like, 5 minutes to brush my teeth and shove down some semblance of lunch and I don’t you fucking dare try to bite my ankles – WHAT IF I WAS CARRYING THE BABY?! – please, just go take a nap somewhere because I CANNOT DEAL WITH YOUR NEEDINESS RIGHT NOW.

[Here is where I would insert another picture of Tootsie, but honestly, I know looking at pictures of her right now would make me feel even worse than I already do.]

Four and a half months since Sadie was born, things have smoothed out quite a lot. We are back to sleeping upstairs in our bedroom/Tootsie’s lair (much to her delight). She is no longer deathly afraid of That Hairless Cat (just semi-deathly afraid), and will even let Sadie pat her head on occasion. After the baby is in bed, it’s not uncommon for Tootsie to take up residence in my lap as we watch [read: fall asleep in front of] some TV. And every day when all three of us return from work and daycare, Tootsie is right there at the door to welcome us home, just like she always was pre-Sadie (and yes, I take the time to pet her and love her and give her a good scratch behind the ears).

[Here is where I am relieved that Tootsie seems to have made it through this whole transition relatively unscathed, and I am grateful I no longer feel so frustrated with her demands for my attention.]

[And here is where I confess that, even though the frustration went away, the way I felt about Tootsie before the baby has never really come back.]


Make no mistake: I love Tootsie very much. I always have and I always will. But it’s different now. I cringe to admit it, but it’s true. I don’t look at her and merely see “ANIMAL,” but I no longer see “BABY.”

baby cat

Here is where Tootsie says, “Bitch, please. I AM an animal, and one who is very grateful you no longer treat me like an infant, you damn freak. Now fill up my food dish. And tell Hairless Cat to stay out of my stuff.”


Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!.


24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MLE  |  September 3, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I just know that our cats are going to be Very Put Out when we bring our own small hairless cat into the house. I plan to give them lots of extra attention while I’m knocked up to try to make things up to them ahead of time.

  • 2. kristin  |  September 3, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Thank you for posting this. It makes me feel less freakish about the fact that I am even now petting my dog continuously and earnestly explaining to her that soon there will be a human baby in the house and just because I won’t be petting her so much doesn’t mean I won’t love her.

    She doesn’t seem all that worried about it.

  • 3. HoST  |  September 3, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Great post.

    Addendum to this: We watched ‘Lady and the Tramp’ a couple months after Sadie was born, and it made me feel even worse about my new feelings toward Tootsie.

  • 4. Amy  |  September 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    My 9 month old’s favorite toy is a cat toy. :o)

  • 5. Amy  |  September 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Oh yes. I can relate this post, for sure. Just replace your Tootsie kitty with our two Beagle doggies. I put them on such a high pedestal before my first was born, you would think I actually gave birth to THEM.

    We literally have thousands upon thousands of photos of them (some have even adorned Jones Soda bottles, to which I am extremely proud.)

    BUT, no. It’s not the same. Especially since my second was born. You barely have time to brush your teeth…the idea of having to feed dogs and take them for a walk is, quite frankly, a nuisance.

    Ugh. Just writing that makes my gut wrench. If any of my childless, dog loving owners read that, they would never speak to me again.

    Of course, having said that, the day I have to deal with them being old and sick, and saying goodbye, I’ll need to be in a straight jacket. I do adore them so.

  • 6. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  September 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Jesus, for a while there I thought this was going to end horribly, like Tootsie ran away or set herself on fire or something just to capture your attention. Don’t scare me like that!

    And, in a neat little twist to this story, let me tell you that since we adopted two 7-week-old kittens two weeks ago, they get to be the needy babies in this house (their mom was a feral cat, so we’re still working on gentling them and so we spend lots of time petting them and convincing them that lying around on people’s laps is a GOOD thing)… anyway, so last night after an intensive session of having the kitties sit on me and get petted, my 12 year old son wanted me to help him cut up some canteloupe and then watch TV with him, and my inner dialog was something like “GOD COULD EVERYBODY JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR 10 MINUTES!” So just wait a few years and maybe you’ll be telling this story with the roles reversed.

    • 7. Daughter of 4th Reader  |  September 3, 2009 at 11:16 pm

      I can’t believe you of all people just misspelled dialogue.

    • 8. jiveturkey  |  September 4, 2009 at 9:01 am

      Hee! That is all so very circle-of-life. I noticed your kitten pictures on FB. I would very much like to squoosh them with kisses.

      • 9. Daughter of 4th Reader  |  September 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm

        JT: believe me, they are squooshed with kisses a lot, only not so much by me because: fur in the mouth. Ew.

        Daughter: “dialog” is an accepted variant per Nyah.

  • 10. Kerry  |  September 4, 2009 at 12:26 am

    So. I can totally relate. I have 2 “furry babies” and they are getting much less love since Mads came home. They are letting us know that this situation is not acceptable by ripping the SHIT out of our carpet and furniture.
    But that is not why I was commenting. And now I am going to apologize because this comment is going to end up being looong and tedious. And that apology made it even longer. Oops. Sorry.
    So! My question…How come you don’t have that many followers on this blog? From what I can tell by the # of comments anyways. I mean, take Dooce for example, who I love, but she gets hundreds of comments on each post. You are FEKKING hilarious. And real. And relatable (!). People need to know! And that concludes my rant. 🙂

    • 11. jiveturkey  |  September 4, 2009 at 9:05 am

      Ha! Well, first of all, let me reassure everyone here that I did not pay Kerry to post this lovely comment. And Kerry, thank you. That is really flattering. I actually get a very nice amount of daily views on my blog, so I think I have a community of lurkers out there. De-lurk! I demand it!
      But anyway, I am very happy with my existing number of followers on here, because I do not get any nasty comments (yet) and I don’t think I’d be able to deal with all the crap someone with hugely popular blog has to deal with. I just like writing & making people (hopefully) laugh.

  • 12. Stephanie Z  |  September 4, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Okay de-lurking – again- to let you know that I love your blog.. And you do make me laugh!

    • 13. jiveturkey  |  September 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you, Stephanie Z. You may now continue with your regularly scheduled lurking 🙂

      • 14. Stephanie  |  September 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm

        I now have to wait until I get home to read your blog. My boss walked past me the other day when I was laughing out loud reading your blog, He asked what was so funny as I was rapidly trying to exit out. Lets just say I was not fast enough… DOH…:)

  • 15. ponygirl  |  September 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Well, since you demand it — I am delurking! No idea how I stumbled upon it, but I am glad I did! Love your blog. Entertains me on a daily basis. Sadie is adorable and makes my ovaries ache. Hi!

    • 16. jiveturkey  |  September 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      Hi! 🙂

  • 17. Marcy  |  September 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    JT – your blog is awesome! I got my friend Deidre hooked on your blog b/c she wanted to know why I was laughing so hard that I was crying at my desk on our lunch break. We’ve been reading you ever since…Keep up the great posts!

    Love the graphics and Sadie pics you sprinkle in to your posts too – they are fantastic…

    • 18. jiveturkey  |  September 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks, Marcy. I know I am breaking about 348539469 copyright laws by using some of those images, but I don’t make any money off of this site, so…eh.

  • 19. shelli  |  September 4, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Give it time – One Miss thang gets mobile, your mama love for Tootsie will return, as you lunge to protect her from the newest quadraped… trust me. 😉

    I used to twitter joke that Quincy was SO starved for attention, I actually caught him PURRING as I clipped his nails one time.

    Give her a scritch on the chin from us.

    • 20. jiveturkey  |  September 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

      I will. And thanks.

  • 21. shelli  |  September 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    PS – AMY – The cat nip toys were the motivating factors in both of our children learning to crawl.

  • 22. shelli  |  September 4, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    pps – I totally link to you on a regular basis.

    and ppps – after this post, I had to go and give mister fur ball some love. BIG MISTAKE – He’s now all: “ooooo! it’s eemah (mommy) time! play some more? pet me some more? here, let me put my UNCUT claw on your lap as a reminder that I am RIGHT HERE, waiting for some MORE PETTING.”


  • 23. Tara  |  September 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    oh hai, I made my way here fro Kristin’s blog and just wanted to let you know, in a totaly non-stalkerish way, that I’ve read all the posts since Sadie was born (she’s so smooshable!). Thanks for being so upfront and honest about it all. It’s refreshing to read what REALLY happens when someone falls pregnant and has a baby. None of the sugar-coated, candy floss version of things.
    I’m following you and hope you’ll drop by and read my WAY less interesting blog ( cute pictures, more boring stuff!)

    • 24. jiveturkey  |  September 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Tara! Off to read right now…


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