Cats vs Baby – No, you don’t need to get rid of the cat

Cats vs Baby – No, you don’t need to get rid of the cat

In the past 7 years of my career, one of the common things I have come across is people contact me and tell me they need to ‘get rid’ of their cats because they are now pregnant.

‘Pre-mother me’ wanted to yell at these people, but I felt I wasn’t qualified to criticise them.

Then I had my baby…

Now it has become my new mission in life to educate these people.

To top it off, I have since qualified as a doula. So…yes, I know quite a bit about babies and about the difficulty of being a new parent, etc. I think I am now qualified to talk on this subject matter. In fact, since the words got out that I am a cat behaviourist AND a doula, I have been getting many calls on cats vs baby. It has accidentally become  my speciality!

(If you are one of these people who need advices, talk to me!  I do house call all over Ireland, including Northern Ireland. I also do Skype consultation internationally.)

Here is the bottomline…it is CRAZY to think you need to get rid of your pet.

Babies have been living with animals since the beginning of human history…

So since when babies can’t live with an animal?

I realise there are so many urban myths when it comes to pets and babies. Even medical professionals often suggest pregnant women to get rid of their animals without actually knowing why and without giving a scientific reason. So I decided for once and for all, I am going to talk about this subject matter head on and explain everything.

When I had my baby, I decided to keep a photo record of the interaction between my baby and my two cats, so that I could write an article like this one day. The photos are taken from when my baby was 1 hour old to yesterday (he is now 2 years and 9 months). I might update this post with more photos as he grows but I think from newborn to nearly 3 years of age is PRETTY good illustration that the cats still haven’t killed the baby.

What will the cat do after I have the baby?

(Disclaimer: every cat is different. I am not suggesting every cat will behave the same. Without seeing your cat, I cannot possibly know your cat temperament and what exactly will happen. Having said that, I have worked with many cats vs baby situation in the past 3 years to draw the following conclusion. But it doesn’t change the fact that your case could be an exception. Reading a blog post is no replacement of a one on one consultation with a behaviourist to get advice of your specific cat in your specific family.)

1. The cats are not going to kill your baby

2. They are probably too scared of the ‘thing’ to even be in the same room with the baby. The loud noise, the sudden movement, the strange smell are all the things cats don’t like. If you are a cat lover, you already know that, right? So how can the cats even get close enough to the baby to do anything to the baby?

3. The cats are not sure what that ‘thing’ is, they think you have probably got a new pet, and it’s a monkey

4. Their anxiety level is going to be high. (Heck! The anxiety level is high for human dealing with a crying baby!) They might retreat to hiding, loss of appetite, overgrooming, marking behaviour, all the stuff that comes with anxiety

5. I know it’s an impossible task for the new parent to even think about the cats, if you can spend time with them, it will help, if you can’t (I know you can’t, I am a doula remember?), get your family members who are also cat lovers to help out. Family tends to visit the new baby or might stay over to help out in the house, get them to help with the cats. The cats need help, they are freaking out.

6. SUPERVISION! I need to put it in capital because I can’t emphasize that enough. I always ask people this question – will you leave your 2 year old with the newborn and you go to the kitchen to make tea? No, you won’t, because you know 2 year old might accidentally do something to the baby out of ignorance. So yes, your cat is your 2 year old, ok? A cat COULD trip when he loses his balance walking near the baby and could accidentally scratch the baby during a fall. So yes, accidents COULD happen. Hence, supervision is gold. But no, your cat won’t be plotting a plan to murder the new human, no.

7. You really shouldn’t leave the newborn baby somewhere else in the house and then go off anyway, accidents could happen even when they are alone in the room. Get a sling! Or bouncy chair or other container gadget so you can bring the baby with you to the kitchen. If you don’t have anything, use a laundry basket! Even that is better than to leave the baby in the room alone especially when you have pets at home. Put a few towels or baby blanket at the bottom of a laundry basket, put the baby in, you can carry the baby to the kitchen. It is also handy when you have to go to the toilet! They feel secure when they know you are nearby and you REALLY have to go to the toilet.

8. No, those net thing to put on top of the cot is not going to work. Not only it won’t work, it could potentially be a dangerous idea. So let me run this with you, you will see. So you put a thing on top of the cot…what does cat do when they see a new soft surface?


Yes, they are going to think it’s a hammock. So yes, they will sleep in it on top of the baby. Whoever invented that probably didn’t talk to a cat behaviourist.

9. You might need help in preparation to introducing the baby to the cats. Read this book. There are specific advice in the book about new baby.

10. Or get advice from a cat behaviourist to make sure the introduction of the baby to your house won’t cause too much anxiety to the cats.

***I am writing another post – Preparing your cat for their new best friend: Introducing the baby to your cat. And it should come up next week. Follow my blog so you don’t miss it.***

Bottomline is this, try to google ‘cat kills baby’, see if you can find anything. You can find anything on google, but you can’t find this. I tried.

I hear you ask “how about the cat poop? Isn’t there a disease or something for pregnant woman?

Ok, let’s talk about that

We are talking about toxoplasmosis.


What is toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a single-celled parasitic organism that can infect most animals and birds. It is a parasite, it is not a disease. So it’s not air borne. That’s very important to remember that. You have to touch the parasite to get that on you, ok?

How can we catch it?

According to Mayo Clinic,

“you can ‘catch’ toxoplasmosis if you…

  • Come into contact with cat feces that contain the parasite.You may accidentally ingest the parasites if you touch your mouth after gardening, cleaning a litter box or touching anything that has come in contact with infected cat feces. Cats who hunt or who are fed raw meat are most likely to harbor T. gondii. (italic mine)
  • Eat or drink contaminated food or water. Lamb, pork and venison are especially likely to be infected with T. gondii. Occasionally, unpasteurized dairy products also may contain the parasite. Water contaminated with T. gondii isn’t common in the United States.
  • Use contaminated knives, cutting boards or other utensils. Kitchen utensils that come into contact with raw meat can harbor the parasites unless the utensils are washed thoroughly in hot, soapy water.
  • Eat unwashed fruits and vegetables. The surface of fruits and vegetables may contain the parasite. To be safe, thoroughly wash all produce, especially any you eat raw.
  • Receive an infected organ transplant or transfused blood. In rare cases, toxoplasmosis can be transmitted through an organ transplant or blood transfusion.”

Did you see the italic? You need to ingest the parasites to get infected. That could  happen if you touch your mouth after gardening or cleaning the litter box.

So here is the thing:

–> Why do you touch your mouth after cleaning the litter box? 

And even if you get rid of your cats, you are still not safe. If you have a garden, other cats can still come into your garden, if you touch the soil then touch your mouth, you can still get infected.

So getting rid of your cat can’t solve the problem, being careful and have common sense is what solve the problem! Also, going back up to the cause of infection – Use contaminated knives, cutting boards or other utensils, eat unwashed fruits and vegetables – are also risk factors. So as long as you are not stopping eating altogether, you STILL need to be careful.


If you have litter trays at home or if you garden, WEAR GLOVES!

You really shouldn’t be doing litter trays much longer anyway once the bump gets big and starting to be in the way. Get other family members to do the trays.

The crazy thing is, you might not be at risk at all!

If you are infected with toxoplasmosis before, you are already immune it. So you don’t have to worry about getting infected. You already have been!

How do you know if you are immune? Talk to your doctor and midwife.

You can either get the test done before you even get pregnant just to have peace of mind. Or you can do a blood test once you are pregnant. It’s a very simple blood test and then you can be in peace knowing one way or the other.

Another crazy thing is, even HSE tells you not to get rid of the cat!

According to HSE

“I own a cat. Do I have to give up my cat while pregnant or if I am in another ‘at risk’group?

If you own a cat, there is no need to give up your cat while pregnant, if you are planning to become pregnant or if you are in another ‘at risk’ group, but the following extra precautions can help reduce your risk of exposure to Toxoplasma:

  • Provide a litter tray for your cat to minimise utilisation of areas such as garden soil and sandpits
  • It is advisable to change the litter tray daily because the parasite does not become infectious until 1 to 5 days after it is shed in cat faeces (italic mine).
  • If possible, have someone else change your cats litter box. If you have to change it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.
  • Feed your cat commercial dry or canned food. Don’t feed cats raw meat because this can be a source of Toxoplasma infection.
  • During your pregnancy try and keep your cat indoors and away from dead animals and birds.
  • Prevent cats hunting birds and other prey, e.g. by use of a bell collar.
  • Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant.”

Did you see here again my italic?

–>You really shouldn’t have days old cat poop lying around the house. Unless you garden, then it is possible to have old poop. Otherwise, why would you? 

And this post on Three Million Dogs sum it up really well. I extract here the bullet points but go there to read the full article to get all the facts.

“6 Facts About Toxoplasmosis That Prove You Shouldn’t Get Rid Of Your Cat When Pregnant

Fact 1: Cats aren’t the only ones infected and capable of transmitting toxoplasmosis.
Fact 2: Not every cat has the risk to become infected with toxoplasmosis.
Fact 3: The chances of your cat transmitting you toxoplasmosis is very low.
Fact 4: Petting your cat or getting scratched or bitten by him won’t give toxoplasmosis.
Fact 5: There are other things that can pass toxoplasmosis onto people.
Fact 6: There are ways to prevent getting toxoplasmosis (whether you have cats or not.)”

If you still need more information, further reading on toxoplasmosis here and here. All scientific facts there with source to original researches. You can’t get more factual than that. No urban myth, no scaremongering, just FACTS.

If there is one thing you take home with you about toxoplasmosis is this:

–> Getting rid of your cat is not your solution…at all.


How about allergies? Will having cat hair lying around cause allergies to babies?

I am not a medical professional. But I do suffer asthma and allergies, so I visit an allergist regularly. (He has already agreed to do a formal interview to add to the post here in the future.) The advice I got from him is, early exposure to animal is actually going to LOWER the risk of future allergies. There are many researches supporting this view now. A quick google search show us this, this, and this. You might want to do your own research. You can also talk to my amazing allergist.

And watch this video…

Photo record of Cat vs Baby

So now, you are happy to know you won’t get some weird disease from your cat, so what will happen after you have the baby? Here is a photo record of what happened to us when we had our baby. The photo record is taken between baby 1 hour old to he is 2 year and 9 months. Get yourself a cup of tea. It is going to be long…

(Disclaimer one more time: every cat is different. I am not suggesting every cat will behave the same. This photo record is to show you what happened to MY cats, MY baby and MY family. Thank you.)

One hour old…


We had a homebirth so the cats have been there the whole process. At one hour old, baby is already in bed with me, we are resting and cat is wondering what was that thing that just came out. Cat Number 2 – Fafa, is nowhere to be seen. As predicted, she went to hide to be away from all the strange sound and noise.

For 2 days, both cats didn’t come near the bedroom. They were scared of the ‘monkey’.

Day 3

Larmlarm (the relatively brave one) came to check out the baby for the first time. All of this are done under SUPERVISION. I can’t emphasize this enough. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE!

Cat Number 2 Fafa won’t be seen in the bedroom for weeks! So you won’t see her until you scroll down…a lot.

Day 4

Larmlarm came to touch the baby the first time. Then sit next to him. As you can see, my husband and myself (I am taking the photo) are there to supervise the whole process.

Day 8


Larmlarm came to the bed to sleep. You can see he kept a distance. He couldn’t be farther away from the baby, he nearly fell off the edge. He was still unsure about the ‘monkey’.

Day 9


Larmlarm slept a bit closer today. As I mentioned earlier, I WILL NOT be leaving them in the room alone and went off to make tea or something. ALWAYS SUPERVISE.

Day 10


Husband is back to work, he fell asleep watching video on computer. Everyone was tired. (This is doula Alice speaking: I was watching the baby, and the video! You shouldn’t leave the baby lying like this while adult doze off. Check out Safe Sleep Seven on baby sleeping guideline. )


Week 2

Larmlarm is getting comfortable with the baby. Fafa still nowhere to be seen.

Week 3

Larmlarm starts to show friendliness towards the baby. He probably started to wonder if this ‘monkey’ is staying?

We also noticed Larmlarm continued to stay on the far end of the bed so we put up a comfortable pillow for him so he could have his own ‘spot’ as a gesture of reassurance that the monkey is not taking over everything.

Week 5

Week 6 


Larmlarm definitely started to be more and more curious towards this new member of the family. I think he realised the ‘monkey’ is probably a human..

2 months and a half


Larmlarm started to exhibit similar behaviour towards the baby as if he is one of us.

2 months 3/4 

Larmlarm continued to show interest to make friends with the new human.

And finally one day, he showed the first sign of playfulness with the baby.

3 months and a half

Larmlarm continued to enjoy the company of his new friend. Fafa still wouldn’t be anywhere near the baby.

3 months and 3/4

At nearly 4 months since the baby was born, Fafa FINALLY was brave enough to be near the baby. So no, it’s very unlikely she would do any harm to him. See my point?

4 months

Larmlarm continued to enjoy the company of his new human…

4 months 3/4

Business as usual…

Then something interesting happened. A customer of mine was stuck in a housing crisis. He bought a house but due to lawyer’s error, he couldn’t move into the house for weeks. So we took on her very friendly cats who are already familiar with babies to stay with us temporarily.


See? Same. No problem.


And Fafa FINALLY came back into the bedroom again…

And the baby started to show sign of interest to the cats as well. You can see he tried to play with them…


and both were shocked when I was spying on them…

5 months

At 5 months, Fafa finally tolerated being in close proximity with the baby and didn’t mind when the baby touched her. I was also pleased that my baby started to be a cat lover! Look at the way he admired Fafa?

5 months and 1/4


And then this happened…<3

5 months 3/4

At nearly 6 months, you can see the cats and the baby both really enjoy each other’s company. There was a lot of ‘mutual observation’ – are you the pet or am I the pet? ha!

At this point, you will also have to deal with ‘grabbing’. Babies generally start to have some eye hand coordination at this developmental stage. It’s a great educational opportunity to start them young to teach them to be gentle and respect animal’s boundary, etc. (And this is “mother me” speaking: I also find it a very good opportunity to start the ‘consent talk’ – No no, when someone doesn’t want to be touched, they are allowed to say no and we have to respect that. I am going to raise a boy who understands consent since the very beginning and this is a good opportunity to do that.)


Even Fafa was getting braver and braver and seem to start enjoying the company of this new human.

6 months

More grabbing. And I was there to tell the baby to be gentle. Hence, he turned his head.


Fafa wasn’t running away anymore when being grabbed at this stage.

7 months


After some coaching, baby seems to understand how to give cat face rub. As you can see on the photo, Larmlarm approved.

7 months and 1/4

Something interesting happened. I had to bring baby with me for one cat sitting job, with the permission of the customer. They have two beautiful friendly Maine Coon who love children. So they had a blast. It was Halloween in case you wonder why the sheep outfit. And you can see on the photo, another interesting development is baby started crawling.

7 months and a half

Crawling was in full on! And there was no stopping them playing together. Of course, I still had to supervise the whole proceeding. Can’t emphasize that enough. And yes, sometimes they played and fell asleep together…

Baby by now was a confirmed cat lover!

7 months and 3/4


Baby started to learn to stand…Larmlarm didn’t seem to mind.

8 months

At 8 months, Larmlarm showed grooming behaviour towards the baby the first time.

And Fafa also started to like this human. You can see she was showing playful behaviour here.

Now to answer the question – will the cat try to sleep with the baby? The answer is yes. So again, SUPERVISION! The black and white paw print pyjama pants on the bottom right corner in the photo was me. I was in bed with the both of them the whole time.

8 months and a half

Best friends forever! Isn’t it the most joyful thing to see a child enjoys an animal’s company and vice versa?


See? This is the kind of thing I was talking about when I mentioned accident at the beginning of this post. A cat could be standing on the railing of a cot and accidentally lost his balance. If the baby was sleeping in the cot, I wouldn’t have let Larmlarm continued to stand there. But baby was standing and playing so it was ok. See? Supervision and common sense.

8 months and 3/4


Play time…

9 months 

Larmlarm came and checked out the little Santa…haha

9 months and a half 


9 months 3/4

10 months


10 months and a half


10 months and 3/4

11 months

1 year

1 year and one month


1 year and 2 months

1 year and a half

Baby..not a baby anymore. Toddler started to take an interest to help out with litter trays…

2 years

At this stage, there is not much to talk about really. The toddler understood cats very well, had a general concept of taking care of them and how to interact with them.


When we visited our friend on our holiday, he even helped out with their cat! Here it is him giving Joseph the cat some treats.

Here he is coming along for cat sitting jobs.

2 years and a half

On the photo on the right hand side, if you click on it and zoom in, you will see there is a cat sleeping inside a hiding space. We were at Kassikohvik Nurri – a cat cafe in Estonia. You can see toddler understand very well cat is sleeping and we need to respect their space.

2 years and 9 months


Do I need to say anything about this picture?

So tell me about your stories. Do you have a cat vs baby situation at home? How did you handle that? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

Are you expecting a baby and are worried? Do you need advice? Talk to me today! 

I am back!

I am back!

Hey! It’s been two years since I last posted!

You might wonder if I have given up the blog.

The answer is NO.

This happened in the meantime…


Yes I had a baby in the meantime…

It became impossible to sit down to write. But then this happened…


Yes! The baby grew up into a toddler and can now watch DVD so I can write again…

I will pick up where it was left…

  • Cat stuff – cat sitting stories, cat care tips
  • Human stuff – how to start your own business, trick of the trade to be a pet sitter
  • Travelling cats – featuring international cat travel stories
  • And so much more!

For the two years I was away from this blog, I haven’t forgotten about it at all. I have spent the past 2 years collecting photos for one big post!

The first post coming back will be (of course) about babies, next post – Cats vs Babies!

How do we prepare the baby arrival when we have cats? How do we integrate them? As you can see from the above photos, it has been very successful with us. What are the tips? Follow me so you don’t miss the post when it’s up!


REVIEW: Cat Dancer toy

REVIEW: Cat Dancer toy

I spend hours playing with cats every day.

You might think it sounds like a fun idea, but when ‘playing’ is part of your job, it is not as fun as everyone thinks. Plus, cats under my care are cats whose human are away, so they tend to be bored and have lots of energy. It’s my duty to make sure they use up that energy, tired out and get a good long sleep until the next visit. So the ‘playing’ becomes a very serious matter to me.

After thousands of ‘play’ session, I have tried lots of cat toys in the market. And yet, I have not found any toy better than the Cat Dancer toy.

Cat Dancer toy is truly the best cat toy in the world.

Cat dancer

Let’s see what they say officially:

Cat Dancer is the original interactive cat toy. Spring steel wire and rolled cardboard create an irresistible lure for cats and great fun for cat lovers. Home-tested by over 8 million cats.

And this is what I say:

Pros –

  1. Cheap – The Cat Dancer toy is really a no-frill toy. There is no fancy colour fluffy stuff on it. Just a piece of wire and bits of cardboard. So the price is very very affordable.
  2. Resilient – I had mine for 5 years. Enough said.
  3. It WORKS! – When you open the package, you wonder if the cat will like a piece of wire with bits of cardboard attached to it. But before you know, the cat bounce on it and wouldn’t stop for hours on the first day! Honestly, this is the only toy that REALLY works, in my opinion, to use up cat’s excess energy.

Cons –

  1. Tricky to store – It might actually be a bit of a ‘first world problem’, but I find it a bit tricky to store the toy. I have difficulty to wind up the wire and store it in a neat manner without it getting caught on stuff. I find it particularly tricky if I want to take it with me to jobs coz it always get to tangle with other stuff in my bag. But ‘normal people’ who are not cat sitter shouldn’t have this problem!
  2. People don’t know it’s a cat toy – Again, it might be a bit of a weird ‘problem’ if you can even call it that. Due to the no-frill looks, people don’t know it’s a cat toy. If you have guests or cleaners they might ask you why do you keep piece of wire lying around. Once, I had a cleaner thought it was piece of rubbish and toss it into the bin 🙁
  3. Availability – Not very widely available in Ireland. I know carries it occasionally. Alternatively, you can order from my online store here.


As you can see, the ‘cons’ are not really cons to be honest. Plus, we cat lovers don’t really care much about any ‘cons’ of a product as long as the cats love it! In this case, I have yet found one cat who doesn’t love the Cat Dancer toy! And I have played with hundreds of cats!

So what are you waiting for? Go get a Cat Dancer now!

DISCLAIMER: I recommend this product not because I happen to stock them. In fact, I stock them because I love it and found it very difficult to purchase in Ireland. After recommending Cat Dancer toy to many of my customers and they had difficulty finding them, I took the initiative to contact the manufacturer and put in a bulk order for the convenience of cat people around me. The money I make from stocking the Cat Dancer toy covers my cost and shipping. But trust me, the money I make is very insignificant and might not even be enough to buy you a cup of tea.

See Cat Dancer in action!

(The standard disclaimer for all the products I review on this blog:
This is my honest review. In fact, I will not review something that my cats haven’t tried. I don’t receive any form of compensation for reviewing a product. I am only sharing my opinion on these products with you because I think some people might find it useful.)

How I became a cat sitter Part 4 – Can one be a cat shrink?

How I became a cat sitter Part 4 – Can one be a cat shrink?

In my last post, I talked about finding out Larmlarm is a very difficult cat. But he helped me get through depression and gave me enough strength and courage to move to Paris to start a new life.

When we moved to Paris, we had nothing. All I had was two suitcases, a one-way ticket,1000 Euro a friend loaned me; and most importantly – LarmLarm. I built the life that I have today with my bare hands and I doubt I could have done it without him.

(If you are interested in knowing more about my journey – I have started a sideline blog to talk about everything that’s not related to my job –Outside The Purrfect Job.)

Not only he did help me through the difficult times of my life by being supportive, his horrendous personality also led me to get into the whole ‘cat thing’. (Oh well, cats get you in all sorts of unexpected ways, don’t they?)

When Larmlarm was little, I was told, ‘don’t worry, he is difficult now because he is a kitten, just hang on and wait. Once he gets older, say, when he is 2, he will be much calmer.’

So I waited.

Then nothing changed.

In fact, he might have gotten worse because now he knows better how to manipulate humans and wrap them around his paws.

I remember it was 2005, we had lived in Paris for 3 years and Larmlarm was just a bit over 3 years old then. He was WAYYYYY past the he-will-get-older-and-get-better threshold. And the funny thing is, even though he is difficult, most people who met him LOVED him, because he has a very beautiful innocent-looking face and he is so friendly to people, sometimes almost dog-like. (In fact, I suspect that’s how he got us to adopt him in the first place! Damn it!) As long as you don’t upset him, he gives you so much love you can’t resist.

I am a reader and a strong believer in ‘there is always a book in this world to solve your problem’. So I went and bought two books in the hopes of understanding LarmLarm better.


I read them in one day.

The whole ‘cat psychology’ opened my eyes to the mysterious world of the cat’s mind. I got sucked in…

I do remember thinking to myself something along the lines of ‘if only I can work with cats, like these people…’ That night, I put the book away, turned the light off to go to bed, woke up the next day, took the metro and went to my job. Just like every other day.

My life didn’t dramatically change immediately, but the idea stuck in the back of my head. ‘If only I can work with cats…’

Fast forward to 2007. I started to get bored with my job in Paris and in fact, I started to get bored with Paris altogether. And guess what happens when I get bored. I feel depressed.

Fortunately, I have a very strange way to handle depression. Instead of staying in bed feeling sorry for myself all day, I usually do what I do best, make a plan to change things. By then, I not only had Larmlarm in my life, I have also met Cat Man. (I will probably tell you the story of how cats have brought Cat Man and I together, and how Larmlarm didn’t like Cat Man at first, etc, in future posts.)

Soon enough, I got a job offer to work in Dublin, so together with Cat Man and Larmlarm, I moved to Dublin (please click here if you want to know the practical information of moving your cat using the ferry).

Fast forward to Christmas 2008, my mom suddenly appeared in Paris with her husband to visit my sister. We wanted to go see them over the New Year, but what about Larmlarm? Back in Paris, we usually asked Cat Man’s godmother (who is also a great cat lover) to come and take care of him. In Dubin, however, we didn’t know enough people yet to ask for help, so I started to look for a paid option. In 2008, there were only two major pet sitting companies in Dublin and only one of them was specialized in cats. I called and asked for a cat sitter. Turned out no one was available. I wouldn’t blame them, it’s the holiday season after all! Everyone would have planned for their getaway long ago. If they didn’t have their mom suddenly show up that is…

I thought to myself, ‘it looks like people have loads of business. Geez, I could be a cat sitter!’

As usual, I didn’t think about it…much after that.

Except I didn’t totally forget about it either…

(to be continued…How I became a cat sitter? Last part – Maow Care is born! is here)

How I became a cat sitter Part 3 – OMG my cat is evil!

How I became a cat sitter Part 3 – OMG my cat is evil!

In the last post, I told you we finally took Larmlarm home and were initially very excited about having our own cat. I would like to tell you everything worked out fine and we lived happily ever after. But no. It turns out LARMLARM IS EVIL!

Don’t get me wrong, LarmLarm is the love of my life, but he is also the most terrible person you will ever meet in your entire life!!!

Oh no no, I am not speaking as 23-year-old me, I am speaking as the ‘now-me’ after seeing hundreds of cats, he is still the most difficult cat I have encountered!

You are probably putting your hands on your hips going, ‘I am not so sure! My Muffin is pretty bad, you haven’t met my Muffin yet, you don’t know….’

Oh well, maybe I don’t know how difficult your cat is, but my Larmlarm bit some of my wedding guests and drew blood!!!

(I bet you went silent just now, good!)

Now, I will tell you another fact. Larmlarm is ‘blacklisted’ from his vet in Hong Kong, Paris, and ALSO in his current vets in Dublin. Oh yes, I said VETS because he needs to have two vets. Because one vet does house calls when he only needs to be looked at, and one vet does the heavy-duty stuff, like surgery or something. The reason being, he is so aggressive with vets that he usually trashes the whole consultation room! So we try to avoid bringing him to the clinic except if it’s really really necessary. One of his vets considered him to be ‘crazy’ (his word) and the other considered him to be ‘a bit odd’ (her words).

Since that first night we took him home, we realised he might be a difficult cat. But we didn’t know much about cats back then, so we thought all cats are difficult and he is only normal.

We were told we should put him in a cage, since he was a kitten and he would be used to being in a cage in the shelter. So we purchased a similar cage for him, as you can see in the pictures in this post and the last post. We settled him down in the cage with a litter tray, bowls and towels and went to bed.

These photos record the very first moment when we arrived home from the shelter and opened the cat carrier to introduce Larmlarm to his new home. Apologies for the poor quality of the photo but we had a first gen digital camera, what do you expect?

Soon after we went to bed and tried to sleep, he started screaming. This annoying screaming behaviour, unfortunately, never went away up to this day. He loves people, he loves to be with people at all times. Sometimes, his behaviour can be quite dog-like, so he DOES NOT WANT TO SLEEP ALONE! He just can’t sleep alone, the end. Ever since the first night, every night he sleeps with me. I have no choice or he will scream the whole place down! Oh, I know you are putting your hands on your hips again going, ‘Excuse me? I thought you are a cat behaviourist, you should have known better than to let him get away with that the very first time!’

Trust me, we did try. But he screamed until 4am! He was so loud I was worried the neighbours were going to call the cops! I had to give in. And remember the Adoption Assistant said (refer to my last post here) how he has a tiny voice? Ah-ha, no he doesn’t have a tiny voice, he has the loudest cat voice in the world (oh yes, that’s after hundreds of cats I have seen from my work.) Soon, we realized Larmlarm was pretending to be innocent and gentle at the shelter and his true evil self came to life just barely 30 minutes after we took him home!!! Oh my goodness, he conned us!!!

Since then, I have learned another thing about him. Larmlarm is a very very determined person. Once he sets his mind on something, he will make damn sure to achieve it – opening doors, waking people up, dropping my iPhone, pulling all the laundry down from the drying rack, etc. I am sure he can climb Mount Everest if he wants to (though I know he won’t want to, he is too lazy and too cowardly of a person!) He does go through phases though. When he was going through the I-must-open-the-wardrobe-at-2am-and-pull-everything-out’ phase, it was terrible. Or that other time, when he went through the I-have-to-scream-at-the–front-door-until-the-neighbours-call-the-cops phase, it was not only annoying but could have possibly got us arrested for Disturbance Of Peace!

However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Having Larmlarm helped with my depression a great deal. He helped me in so many ways I find it difficult to put them into words. His determined personality taught me to never give up! Once you set your mind on something, such as waking the human up at 4am, you just have to do it. Since I have no intention of waking people up at 4am, I set my mind to getting better. Have I told you, regardless of his difficult personality, Larmlarm is an excellent nurse? If he knows you are not well (and he always knows!) he will sit next to you or on your chest and just stare at you, almost as if asking ‘Are you ok?’ Sometimes he would proceed to give me headrubs, hoping to help me feel better. And guess what? I did feel better afterwards!

Soon after I got Larmlarm, I started to have enough energy to straighten out my life. I realised it is utterly stupid to stay in a job I hated just because of the expectations from people around me. Plus, I have always wanted to travel, so I decided not only to quit my job but to quit my country as well! Oh yes, I decided to move to France.

I already spoke some French at that stage. So France was a natural choice for me.

You might start to be freaked out and ask ‘but what about Larmlarm?’ Obviously, without a second’s hesitation, Larmlarm had to come with me. Larmlarm is part of my life. Not only is he my nurse, he is also my saviour. In fact, he is many many things to me! He is my mentor to put me back in my place when I am arrogant; he is my constant reminder life is beautiful when I lose hope; he was my alarm clock pulling me out of bed when I was so depressed and wanted to stay in bed forever. Most importantly, he teaches me to love and to be loved unconditionally. I am sure that without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Before I go, I would like to share some more of Larmlarm’s baby pictures with you, enjoy!

(to be continued…How I became a cat sitter? Part 4 – Can one be a cat shrink? is here)

N.B. If you want to know the story of our journey from Hong Kong to Paris, please click here, where I share the practical information and also our experience.