Feline Behaviour


I am convinced my baby is a cat. Or a cat reincarnate, but a cat, nonetheless.

If you know me personally, you are already aware about my love for animals, especially cats. As a child in England, I had two cats, Tom and Tabitha; I always felt like Tabitha was solely mine. Then, I had a cat named Latte who I raised as a kitten and subsequently delivered her own little kittens, one of which was unfortunately stillborn, but still one of the best experiences I’ve had. Then we had Samba. Samba was really Jade’s cat who I sort of adopted when I moved back to my family home, since she had the baby. So apart from my experiences with roughly six cats, and my attraction to cat videos, I think I know cat-like behaviour when I see it.

He licks me.

Now, I know babies put their mouths on EVERYTHING! Honestly, they have absolutely no sense of danger, whatsoever. Liam has taken a liking to our shoes. We always hope that this is the one time he just holds the shoe and plays with it, despite it still being terribly dirty, but the minute we avert our attention, it goes directly into his mouth. It’s a pointless battle. “Move the shoes”, you say. I know, I know. But sometimes, they’re just there, ya know?

Either way, Liam is a typical baby who puts everything in his mouth. Including me. But it’s so much more deliberate. Its not that idle, ‘I know not what I do, I shall just place this foreign object in my mouth’. When he licks me, he actually leans into me, sticks out his little wet tongue and places it on me, with his face full of concentration. Then he looks at me and does it again. It’s like he’s tasting me, almost. I’d love to be a brain cell in his little head to learn if I taste good or not. I consider it a show of affection from him, as I’ve never seen him do it to anyone else.

If that’s how he says ‘I love you’, then he can lick away.

He hated the vacuum cleaner but now he loves it.

When Liam was a lot younger, (I say a lot like he’s been in the world for a long time), he was very sensitive to sound and sudden movements. Its absolutely normal, especially since he was premature. However, I always thought he was little over-sensitive; he was startled by almost anything. It probably didn’t help that we live in such a quiet neighbourhood and our house is equally as quiet.

The vacuum cleaner quickly became public enemy number one. It came to a point where we couldn’t vacuum in any room Liam was in to avoid a meltdown.

Liam is a different baby today.

I cannot vacuum in peace. A job that should take me no longer than five minutes now takes me close to ten because most of my time is spent trying to divert Liam away from the electric cord or trying not to run his excited little derriere over with the vacuum cleaner.  I’m almost 100% sure that if I tried to give Liam a massage with it, he’d let me. Just like a cat.  When the vacuum cleaner isn’t being used, it can’t be in sight of his beady little eyes either (which already don’t miss a thing), because before you know it he’s turned the vacuum cleaner into his personal drumstick.

The vacuum cleaner is his new favourite toy.

And I don’t think it helps that it’s yellow.

Sometimes he doesn’t want to be held. 

Then he does.

Now that Liam is crawling, it seems he only wants to be held when he’s tired of crawling or about to be fed. Or unless he wants you to hold him, just because. Either way,  I’ve come to the conclusion Liam has no idea what he wants. One minute he’s zooming all over the place and exploring, and the next minute he’s crying and trying to crawl up legs. The way he digs his little claws into my leg is very cat-like, I might add. Once in my arms or my lap, I’d only wish he’d curl into a ball and go to sleep.

Fat chance.

He’s pulling my hair, kneading my chest or trying to eat my face. Sometimes he’s really gentle and he just caresses my face (more of a rough-handed grab, but I know it’s with love), but 99% of the time he’s trying to rip me to shreds.

Crawls all over me when I’m sleeping.

I love my sleep. Sleep is honestly the best thing in the world. Its probably  a close second on the list of my favourite things to do; shopping is the first. Although I was lucky to have a baby who slept practically through the night, I learnt the hard way that babies don’t give a shit about your 8 hours of sleep.  Liam is at the stage now of wanting to be in our bed in the morning. I love that the first thing he wants to do when he opens his eyes in the morning is be with his mummy and daddy; it’s the part of his baby phase I’ll cherish. However, for some reason, Liam seems more focused on mummy, who is usually sleeping peacefully. I don’t wake up to the sound of birds chirping in the trees, or the wind blowing through the window. Instead, I wake up to the pulling of the hair which may escape from my night wrap, or the gumming of my thigh, or the rough-handed ‘caress’  of clammy  baby hands on my face.

Would I prefer to wake up to the terror of a baby over a lawn mower?

I consider it a decision between the best of the worst right now.

In hindsight, I suppose that these are just as much baby behaviours as they are that of a cat. But, as Liam tries to bite my moving toes under the bed sheet or drops things over the edge of raised surfaces, I still have to wonder if I’m raising a baby or a pet.

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