One of the many questions we get these days, besides "is he sleeping through the night yet?", is "how are the animals reacting to the new baby?" We have two dogs and three cats so there are lots of animals to have opinions about this latest "pack member" but a few of them have surprised us. Sarah the elder stateshound has little to no interest in the baby. If it's possible for a dog to get senile, though, she's done it and doesn't have interest in much beyond her fan, the water bowl and rubbing her face on the leather furniture.
Mollie the dobermutt did a fair amount of worrying and pacing when we first brought Ian home (as did Rich) but has since mellowed into licking the baby's head and bemoaning her being outcast to the guest bed from our bed.
The kitties have surprised us the most. Tobias the busiest cat ever has shown more interest in our baby paraphernalia than the actual baby, attempting to sleep in the cribs, on the changing tables and snuggled inside the Boppy nursing pillow.
Emily the skittish cat we assumed would spend the first month under the guest bed since she hides from any visitors or house guests we have. But she's our only pet that has had offspring so I think she understands that Ian is our kitten. She sits with me when I nurse him and sleeps in the bed with all of us every night. She hasn't shown any aggression towards the baby and has been amazingly brave. We'll see how that bravery lasts when Ian is mobile.
The only pet that seems to be having a hard time is Isis (AKA Ms. Kitty). She has always been my cat and doesn't have much use for anyone else petting her or otherwise interacting with her. Her favorite thing in the world is for me to pick her up and carry her around the house. She's content to sit in my arms for close to an hour if I'll let her and she just snuggles and purrs the whole time. But these days I've been carrying around another kitty all the time and the betrayal and frustration shows on her little kitty face. It's pitiful to watch her follow us around the house meowing plaintively.
She can at least sit on the arm of the recliner while Ian and I are nursing but you can tell she doesn't think it's the same as being held herself. So this afternoon while Ian was napping, I sought her out, picked her up and we had a good hour of snuggle time. It was a nice reunion for us both and I'm going to try to make a habit of it. As wonderful as it has been to bond with Ian these last few weeks it's also good to see he's not the only one who needs me.