I love my beautiful baby girl more than words can say, but before she came along I had another baby who was the centre of my universe: Pigalle the British Shorthair pedigree puss. In the last few months, Pigalle has – I will admit – been neglected. Not neglected in a call the Cats’ Protection League kind of way, but the benchmark I’d set in spoiling him was pretty darn high and it has slipped. And I feel bad.
So, I’m dedicating this blog post to Pigalle. Who has shown remarkable strength of character in the face of the new addition to our household and his relegation from first division status.
I remember when we first got Pigalle. Richmond Daddy and I could barely sleep the night before we were due to pick him and his sister Lily (RIP) up from the breeder. We were wide-eyed with excitement and literally counting the hours down. Pigalle was a tiny little ball of fluff kitten, who could fit in the palm of your hand, and had a penchant for clothes-horses. Five-and-a-half years on and he’s a lot bigger (in fact we’re on strict instructions from Jan the vet to keep his weight at around the 5kg mark as he has a tendency to balloon if given the chance) but the fondness for the clothes-horses remains.
What can I tell you about my baby boy Pigalle? Well, firstly that he’s mental. That’s not a medical diagnosis, but it is my informed opinion based on observing him over the past 5.5 years. You want proof? – some examples…
- he charges back and forth through the house like a miniature pony on speed every time he does a number 2 in his litter tray
- he encourages you to stroke him by looking cute and rubbing against your legs only to swipe and scratch you as soon as you lay a finger on him
- he scratches his way up, and abseils down, the furniture
- he shuns his cat bed in favour of sleeping on my rather expensive Prada handbag (actually that’s not mental, that’s quite smart, the boy has taste)
- he eats any flowers I bring into the house, which promptly makes him vomit on the rug/under the chair/on the kitchen floor, and when he stops retching he jumps up and starts munching on said flowers again. Repeat.
He’s known for being a bit of a diva. He’s been the sole focus of our attentions pre baby. Now all that has changed. Don’t get me wrong, we still adore him and lavish as much attention on him as we can. But, that’s just the problem; “as we can”. Being first time parents, having a 13 week old baby to focus on, well it kind of preoccupies you doesn’t it?! It’s all I can do to make sure Pigalle gets his daily heart tablet (he has a congenital heart condition – damn the inevitability of a pure bred) and his 2 pouches of Whiskas a day. I remember when we came home from the hospital with Richmond Baby and I thought: “do I have enough love for her and for him (as well as of course also thinking, f**k, I have a small baby to keep alive, help!.) – but of course I do, it’s just hard sometimes to fit it all in isn’t it?! – if you don’t have a pet you’ll think I’m nuts, but if you do then hopefully you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
So publicly, although I know he’s not a subscriber to my blog (he’s far too nonchalant to care about my musings and besides he’s a cat, he doesn’t do social networking), I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Pigalle for being a good feline big brother to Richmond Baby these last 3 months and for:
- not jumping on baby’s face and smothering her in the night (we do keep the door locked to minimise this possibility)
- keeping a respectful distance from baby when she’s on the floor in the baby gym batting dangling objects (I know this must be hard for you)
- not leaping into the cot/Moses basket/or pram for a snooze when they all look so cosy and comfy and ideal for a cat to hole up in
- not weeing in inappropriate places as a cry for help and attention (we’ll ignore that one instance on the sofa, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you just got caught short, it happens to the best of us)
- being okay with being ostracised from our bedroom and therefore not being able to sleep on our bed every night as in days gone by; I know that sucks, but don’t worry it’s only until she’s 6-months and then you can resume your place as she’ll be in her own room
Pigalle, you’ve been surprisingly magnificent at adjusting to life with a little one in the household and we’re not only taken aback, but also very grateful. Now if you could just stop trying to trip me up by lying in the middle of the stairs…