The Jealous Cat (Or The Reason Why We Don’t Co-sleep)

When friends come over and meet our family for the first time, I like to joke that Elijah came before The Cubs Fan and is, therefore, my number one man. While this tends to get a chuckle or two (perhaps out of pity for The Cubs Fan), there is some truth to the matter. Eli sleeps curled up in the crook of my neck with his cheek pressed to mine or with his neck draped over my eyes to block out the light.

At least one of us is comfortable

On the nights that The Cubs Fan is home, Eli squeezes himself in between our bodies to ensure that he gets the most contact with me and that hubby dearest gets the least. Has this caused marital squabbles? Honestly, yes. But that’s not what this post is about. Tonight I’m writing about a jealous cat. But jealous of whom?

Taking a cat nap during my pregnancy

Taking a cat nap during my pregnancy

When we brought Birdie into the picture everything changed. Eli was bumped out of the number one slot and replaced by a wailing, stinky lump of human who constantly needed to be fed and held. What better way to accomplish both of those things than to co-sleep? Birdie could snuggle right up to me and eat to her heart’s (stomach’s) content while I snoozed. This idea was short lived though out of my fear of smothering her with my giant breasts, so she was moved 2 feet away into an arms reach mini co-sleeper next to my side of the bed. The set up was great. I could easily pick Birdie up and feed/comfort her when she stirred and then lay her back down without leaving the bedroom. Eli, however, had other plans.

Eli begins "mission baby domination" by taking over the co-sleeper

I would wake up to find Eli curled up with Birdie in the co-sleeper, or he would insist on laying on top of her during her feedings. One afternoon I left the room where the baby was sleeping to go to the restroom, and when I came back I found that Eli had decided to curl up on top of her. It was about this time that I began to have nightmares about the cat smothering the baby. Not ready to move Birdie out of our room, I started to research ways to keep a cat out of the crib.

Playing "King of the Boppy"

Various companies make nets that fit over the crib to keep cats out, but the mini co-sleeper has strange dimensions that didn’t fit any of the standard nets. I did find that the arms reach company made a netted canopy to fit over the co-sleeper, but it cost approximately the same amount as a baby monitor. Desperate to keep her in the room with me, I shut Eli out and endured two nights of the constant scratching and yowling of a cat scorned.  We tossed him outside only to hear the awful nails-on-chalkboard sound of his claws screeching down the sliding glass door that leads from our bedroom to the backyard. Clearly, this wasn’t going to work. After a week’s worth of deliberation and fretful sleep, we decided to purchase a baby monitor and put Birdie in her crib where she would be safe from our furry feline. She took the transition to her crib surprisingly well, which is something that I cannot say for myself. I missed having her in the bed and in the room with me. There’s a space that the cat just can’t fill. But safety comes first in all things baby related, so Birdie only co-sleeps with me in the morning when Eli is roaming outside.

Bed time nursing session

Bed time nursing session

Being the jealous cat the he is, Eli still continues to snuggle up close and try to squeeze in between Birdie and me during our feedings. He’s come to learn, however, that his time at the top is over and that everything revolves around my baby bird. And if he doesn’t like it, he can just take a trip outside.

Kept warm by the kitty comforter

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About Crunchy Mama

I'm just your average breastfeeding, babywearing, attachment parenting and cloth diapering crunchy mama/military spouse.
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One Response to The Jealous Cat (Or The Reason Why We Don’t Co-sleep)

  1. karen reekie says:

    Oh my goodness, I thought it was just my kitty that so possesive of me!! My cat, Layla, sleeps with us, on my chest, or next to my head, or between my knees, and was very disgruntled with the arrival of my daughter 4 years ago, and has just about learned to cope with my son’s arrival. She will try and climb on my lap while nursing, she will be on top of us while laying in bed nursing, and she tries to get in his cot, both when he is in it, and when it’s empty.She was my baby long before they arrived, and admittedly is spoiled. He now sleeps in his own room, and she sleeps with us again, but we also had to ban her for a while, when he was sleeping with us, and endured the kitty hysterics and drama too! It seems funny now, but wasn’t at the time, being sleep deprived because of being up with a baby, is one thing, but because of a cat, is another, and my husband was most unamused by it all!
    Found your blog via the Leaky B@@b, btw, LOVE it! Was just perusing through when I saw this about your cat!

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