The cat is a weirdo. He is alternately playful and terribly shy. His idea of a good time is to make desperate overtures for attention- his actions clearly stating ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ – until you actually look at him. He will then think “Oh Shit! You’re looking at me!”, run a way and hide under the bed for an hour.
Still, he usually can be coaxed out. Not during the birth, however.
No, we didn’t have the kid at home. We were at the hospital, a 5-minute drive from our flat. We filled up his food bowl, several bowls of water, and left him to his devices. It sounds weird, but he really won’t eat all his food at once- he can be left for a couple of days with no more damage than wounded pride over the fact that we weren’t there to look at him for a while.
When I came back periodically from the hospital for various reasons, though, he was in a state. He would genuinely hide and cry, and no amount of coaxing would ease him out of his hiding spot. It worried me. Of course, my mind was on the kid, but the cat is part of the family as well, and I was hoping he’d take to Baby G, that we wouldn’t have to get rid of him if he freaked out. His freaking out was a problem.
I shouldn’t have wasted the effort. He gave one extremely perplexed look at all of us when we returned, and settled right into his roll as Family Supervisor, fulfilling all of his monitoring duties, and logging in overtime with extra hours of Petting Availability. His turn around, outside of his brief episode of confusion, was total.
I couldn’t help wondering what he was thinking throughout the whole ordeal, and the best I can come with is this: The cat is a mammal. I figure somewhere in his walnut brain, he must have recognized the smell of the amniotic fluid when the Missus’ water broke. Birth is a dangerous prospect for any species, and I quickly whisked her away, only to return now and then without her. I’m guessing this was upsetting to him, and why he hid- perhaps I had eaten the babies and disposed of the Missus. It could explain his confusion upon our return, too, but I suspect something else was going on, especially as he so quickly accepted Baby G. I figure he was thinking
“What? Only one? That’s it? I can deal with one.”