The joy of selecting a new furry baby with your toddler

Baby Markey talking to Smudges

Baby Markey talking to Smudges

The journey to our newest family member began a few weeks ago when this white cat showed up in our backyard. This was not our cat and still is not our cat. However, Baby Markey decided she liked this cat and spent hours conversing with it through our back window.

Of course, I gave it water in this ridiculous Saudi heat and posted pictures to find its owner. It turns out the cat, whose real name is Smudges, lives across the street from us. Smudges roams the neighborhood without a collar. While this is not my idea of pet ownership, this cat is not our own and will never be. Nonetheless, Baby Markey wanted a kitty of her own. I knew that if we got a cat then it would have to be a baby so it can grow up accustomed to our rabbits. Especially since Jedi is a very active member of the family and will most definitely want to play with our new furry baby.

Let me play with the new kitty!

Let me play with the new kitty!

So I began to keep my ears open for the right opportunity. It didn’t take long for me to hear about a litter with a miraculous tale. Maggie, the cat was seen badly injured with a broken leg in a dumpster behind a mutual friend’s home. This man went to go rescue Maggie and as he was taking her away out popped a little blonde kitten from the dumpster. It turns out that Maggie has three kittens. The man took them all in and sought medical attention. All of the cats are now thriving and the kittens will be ready to go to new homes in the middle of June.

As you can probably guess, we are taking one of the kittens. Remember the blonde kitty that jumped out from the dumpster? That’s our little Beast (named by Baby Markey after “Beauty and the Beast.”)

To get Baby Markey kitten ready, I’ve adapted a similar strategy to what I talk about in my upcoming book, “Dog and Child” where I give advice on preparing your dog for a baby or your baby for a dog. Really the same basic preparation can be followed in this case.

1. Introduce supplies gradually- We are buying the supplies for the kitten piece by piece. This is great for budgeting and this way our daughter and dog aren’t shocked by an onset of new items. We can introduce them to the cat supplies (litter box, food/water bowls, cat tower, toys, etc.) bit by bit.

2. Talk about the coming change- We are talking about Beast joining our family all the time. We even have been taking Baby Markey to visit the litter.

3. We’re including everyone in the process- We let Baby Markey pick out some cat toys for Beast and Oscar, our dog, stood by and assisted with the assembling of the cat tower.

Now there are even more steps to follow when introducing a pet to a newborn baby but these steps are easily adapted to preparing your family (both human and furry) for the arrival of a new kitten.

We welcome Beast to our home on June 15. Here is the little guy below. I’m looking forward to having a new furry baby to assist me in my work.

Meet Beast!

Meet Beast!

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