Before Butterball was born, I was a dedicated mum, a meowmy if you will, to our Sphynx cat, Minnie.
She’s a bit of a weirdo. Minnie is a hairless cat, yet, she’s a fluffball. Not with fur, but with dander- resembling the coat of a fuzzy duckling.
Minnie moved in with me after my car accident. Buy one, get one free with Partner R.
Now if you know me, I like animals from a distance. I don’t want to pat them, hold them or let them lick me. I blame a few things- like as a kid, holding an ice cream with one hand and the other being licked profusely by a golden retriever and not realising. It was until I looked down from this pleasureable sensation that I recoiled. Looking back it was actually quite cute, but hand sanitizer wasn’t available and it did kind of ruin my Bubble O’Bill experience.
Another time, a boy put a mouse on my leg and it peed on my shorts. Incidentally, I had a crush on him from that moment… (the boy, not the mouse).
So cue the grand enterance of Minnie. Partner R brought her home on the Sunday. I was left alone with her as he went to work on the Monday. That day, I burst into tears. How could I have allowed this freakish looking cat into my apartment when I didn’t even want to touch her. She sensed my disparity and walked tentatively to me and gently mosied into my lap. With one finger, I would pat her head. This is nice. After washing my hands with lots of soap, we became firm companions.
Our friendship blossomed into a sisterhood. Minnie would watch me as I cooked. I would hold her while watching the Bachelor. We played chasey, hide and seek and jump for the fluffy thing at the end of a stick. Minnie loved meowing along to Beyoncè and did a stint of modelling.
Once falling pregnant, I vowed to always be her fur mama. But then… her cat food would trigger my nausea and this chain reacted to vomiting. Then I stayed away from her kitty litter because it was dangerous for Butterball. We were in a short distance relationship with some long lasting conditions. But we still loved each other.
Leading up to Butterball’s arrival, I would try to talk to Minnie and explain that she will have a baby brother. I would play You Tube clips of crying babies to help ease her anxieties for when the real crying became a nightly reality.
Months later, I had Butterball. I was so excited to come home and introduce him to her. I made sure Partner R entered the house first and greet Minnie. Next, I entered with Butterball. I sat on the couch and introduced him to her. Minnie hissed at him. A protective reaction came over me and I walked away from her. My love for Minnie now had conditions and Butterball came first.
Hours later we were in emergency with Butterball and didn’t return home for a week.
Minnie must have wondered, why have I been left behind?
When I got home, I didn’t want her near me or the baby. Butterball caught a virus which is contracted from zoo animals and bats and I was so weary with Minnie around now. She had to fend for herself from this point. It sounds cruel but I was in survival and protective mode.
My own mum would comment on how I should let Minnie back into the fold. But I couldn’t listen. She threw her beloved house cat outside once she caught him hovering over my cradle back in the day. Her protective mode took over.
About six weeks ago, Partner R was assigned to the Big Apple for work. It was Butterball, Minnie and me. We were doing GREAT. I was back into welcoming Minnie into the fold. That is until three days in, she peed all over Butterball’s change table. Then the next day, pooped on the carpet. And it happened twice more after that. I was ropeable and ready to give her away. I was constantly cleaning and googling how to banish the smell of cat piss. I was done with this feline. Get her away from me, the nursery and from my Butterball.
Now, our relationship is changing again. Butterball is beginning to sleep through the night and I am able to sit on the couch and watch TV. She curls up next to me and purrs. I don’t push her away. We both sit there. Content. Trying to make do with our new normal.
I am happy for our fur-lationship to be rejuvenated, just please, no more soiling the nursery.