Delilah has been with us just over a week now and I am both getting to know her and getting used to her. I didn't realise that cats had such a variety of facial expressions and ways of communicating. I am starting to be able to translate her range of noises and slowly tell when she is annoyed and when she wants to play. The first weekend she was here, she barely made a noise and spent a lot of her time sleeping. Now, she is talking lots and playing and fighting. Just like me, she loves shoes. She's already put her claws through one of M's leather boots and scratched the hell out of the back of one of my loafers that I wear to drive to work. She also enjoys fighting my belts if I leave them on the floor. She also likes playing with the mouses I bought her, with stripy tshirts and long legs.
I'd never been a cat parent before last week; I didn't have a pet of any sort during my childhood and although I've helped feed the cat and dog at my parents in law's, it's not quite the same as having your own. We adopted Delilah through the Cats Protection which involved a house visit for assessment and then a wait for a suitable cat. In our case, Delilah was rescued a couple of days after our house visit. In other cases, it may take a few weeks to find a good match. We were telephoned to say that Delilah (not her name then, we changed it to give her a new start in our family) was with a volunteer and would we like to visit her, which we duly did. We believed we would know the right cat for us and we both straight away knew that Delilah was our cat. I went back to visit her a further evening during that week and then we went together to sign her adoption papers and bring her home.
In no way am I comparing cats to babies, but I can really see, on some level, how having a baby is such a life changing event. We just went and collected Delilah and have lost no sleep due to her presence. She only needs to eat twice a day and I only clean her litter tray once a day. And yet, it's been a shock to the system, that something is dependent on me for her care. She cries when she is hungry (and, I've discovered, when she's not). I didn't realise I would need to get to know her, which seems so completely obvious now. Multiply that by a hundred for a new baby, add the exhaustion of birth and feeding/changing every 3 hours and the added worry and fragility of a new human baby and mix it all up with some huge hormonal changes. I can see how strange an experience it must be, those first few weeks.
iphone snaps by me. one day I will learn to use a proper camera.