Should have bought a Chia Pet
by Karla ° Friday, May 16, 2008
Last Sunday began in a typical weekend morning fashion with Mark and I sipping fresh brewed coffee to enliven our heavy and bleary eyes while Nate, wide awake and raring to go, guzzled his morning sippy of thirst-quenching milk. Samson, not much of a morning dog, was curled up by my feet still trying to catch up on his beauty rest. Simon, sickly and cadaverous from his failing kidneys, was perched in his usual resting spot near my head along the back of the couch, and Sebastian, gluttonous and fat, sat distanced from the family on a dining room chair, strategically positioned to swat the dog should he walk past his majesty’s obese resting zone.

Samson and the cats have never exactly learned to be friends. When Samson entered our family, the cats were approaching their senior years and his riotous puppy antics did nothing but annoy them. The scars on Samson’s nose are a forever reminder of their enemy status.

Sometimes, life with a kid, two cats and a lunging lunatic of a dog can be a bit zoo-ish because Samson has this very annoying penchant for chasing our aging cats and this often results in him knocking things over, like say, Nate. But shoviness aside, he is generally very well behaved, especially considering all of the ear pulling, tail tugging and countless bonks on the head he’s received from a boundary-testing toddler.

That being said, I still don’t trust him. I’ve heard far too many stories of even the most perfectly behaved dogs suddenly turning into vicious skin-shredding monsters, and for that reason, Samson and Nate are never left together unsupervised. The cats however, are so nonchalant and disinterested in having anything to do with the human or canine population that I’ve never really worried about Nate being around them. Never in a million years would I have thought that Sebastian would be the animal to cause Nate harm, especially with me right there.

While encouraging my body to perk up under the influence of caffeine, Nate, slightly unsteady in his gait, Frankenstein lurched his away over to see Sebastian on the dining chair. Although we’re working on the whole being ‘nice nice’ thing, authority tends to cause a colossal meltdown of a tantrum these days, and by meltdown, I mean total annihilation of any new behavioural instructions that were written to his brain. And because all the work we’d done on not hitting had been lost in a previous meltdown from, oh, 10 minutes prior, he went ahead and hit the cat with a giant yellow lego, and Sebastian retaliated by shredding the skin on Nate’s face dangerously close to his eye and all down his left cheek.

Before getting scratched by the cat, I have never really had to deal with anything alarming happening to Nate. All things considered, my role as a Mother has been rather uneventful in terms of accidents or illness so far, thank god/knock on wood. I mean, sure, Nate’s had a few colds, and one pneumonia scare when he was two months old that warranted exposing him to x-rays for the second time in his life (the first time was shortly after being born), but as he approaches 18 months, the kid has never really been ill yet, including no fevers, ear infections, and (unless you count occasional spit up as a tiny baby), he’s never even vomited.

Something terrible was bound to happen at some point, and hearing his screams and seeing the blood dripping down his cheeks made my heart palpitate. We called the free medical advice hotline here in Ontario to find out if there was anything specific we needed to do to prevent infection and treat his wounds, and they advised us to have Nate seen by a doctor within a couple of hours.

It turns out that the scratches weren’t overly deep, and the angry red welts were actually just superficial wounds that only required a topical antibiotic, but I’m still upset about this because how do you correct unwanted behaviour in a cat? Because seriously, the only thing in the whole wide world that fatty cares about is when the human with the opposable thumbs will dispense more kibble in his dish.

At this point, I’m seriously contemplating cutting his hazardous feline claws and legs off, and locking him and his stumps in the basement to eat and grow like a fat demented Chia Pet.

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Poor guy. Hope it heals quick and w/o scars.

My boy is 3 1/2 and my girl almost 8, and 3 weeks ago was out first accident moment, little boy had to get 3 stitched under his chin, so SCARY!!
Posted by Blogger Donna :  May 16, 2008

Karla, that's so strange, because our cat, Purdie, scratched Callum on the nose this morning, also drawing blood. I was so annoyed with the cat that i put her out of the house.
But she is back in the house now and Callum is still chasing her about. It must not of hurt that much!
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  May 16, 2008

Hope Nate's face is ok.

Love Amanda x
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  May 16, 2008

Poor Nate!

Stupid cat. We have one, but she sleeps 23 hours a day. In the basement :)
Posted by Anonymous Angella :  May 16, 2008

Oh sorry about Nate.

Removing the nails won't work either. We had a cat when our daughter was little...she was de-clawed(the cat!)>
One day, daughter fell right next to the cat, startling her, and the cat bite her all over her arm...nice deep wounds.
Needless to say, our cat now resides at my mother in laws.
Posted by Anonymous Val :  May 16, 2008

I would advise about removing the claws, too, because a cat without claws is more apt to bite and a cat bite is much more dangerous.

We no longer have our cat, but a few years ago when I was pregnant with Hana our cat bit me during a particularly traumatic trip to the vets. I phoned Telehealth and they told me to get myself to Emerg immediately. I thought they were over-reacting, so I called a vet friend of mine in Ottawa. He said to get myself to Emerg right! And just to make me good and freaked out, every single nurse and doctor I saw at Emerg went on and on about how awful cat bites can be. I ended up being put on antibiotics to ward off infection.

That's the thing about pets, eh? We love them, and we can go so used to having them around us all the time that it's hard to imagine them doing anything to harm us or our children. But sometimes they do react out of fear.
Posted by Blogger Mary Lynn :  May 16, 2008

well cats generally dont do anything to harm anyone unless theyre scared so something must have spooked him......might i suggest a spray bottle with water to help with behavioral correction? it always worked with my cat while he thought climbing the curtain was cute
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  May 16, 2008

Maybe it's something as simple as teaching Nate not to hit the cat. I know it's easier said than done, but it's far easier to teach a kid than a cat. Good luck Karla.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  May 16, 2008

Maybe the incident scared Nate enough not to repeat it? I bet he's smart enough that if you warn him, if/when he approaches the cat again...he'll remember to stay away.
Posted by Blogger joyce :  May 16, 2008

Sweet Baby! And to you, too, Karla! I'm sure he'll heal just fine.

When I was in 6th grade, a friend's very huge German Shepard mix jumped through her screen door and bit me from my left eye down to my mouth. It was pretty traumatic and I still have a nice scar across my nose from it.

A short while later my Siamese cat bit all the way through my big toe one night while sleeping at my feet.

I think I like fish best.
Posted by Anonymous Nicki_in_NC :  May 16, 2008

Poor little guy. It sounds like the cat was at least not trying to hurt him badly (if the scratches were superficial, I'm sure it's not because he doesn't have the capability to inflict deeper ones).

Can he transition to an outdoor cat?
Posted by Blogger jess :  May 16, 2008

That's a tough one. However, I'd be more than willing to bet that Nate has more than learned his lesson. Taryn cut her finger with a knife at around that age (well, closer to two, but similar), and she is the first to freak out about a knife being too close to her now. TJ's hand got burned on a stove eye when his Nana wasn't paying attention to him, and the child is more cautious of anything hot than any child I've ever seen! He was pretty small then, too, I'd say around 18 mos.

If you keep him inside, I don't see why it would hurt to declaw him. He sounds like he's pretty much gonna live out the rest of his life in the same manner, so I would bet he's not going to have to defend himself against too many predators outside.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  May 16, 2008

Oh, poor Nathan. :(
I hope his battle scars heal quickly.
As for the cat: cats need more attitude adjustment than any other creature in the world. I'm not a cat person.
As for you: you have a way of making the sad things funny. I admire that. And,.. I'm pretty sure it's where a lot of your strength comes from. You are excellent.

Oh no!! I can sort of relate, though. Our cat is nearing 9 years old and we got her when she was 6 weeks. Well, she has always been such a good kitty---like Samson---takes all the tail-tugging, etc... At least she did until my oldest turned 5 and it was no longer innocent toddler play. Try as I might, I can not get my 5 year old to leave her alone. She has scratched him up and it doesn't phase him. Anyway, since he has started this with her, she isn't so accepting of it now--even from my two year old. Actually, my two year old only wants to "pat-pat Molly". However, if she feels cornered by him, she gets scared and one time she bit him while we were right there (didn't draw blood, but left a deep indention). The way we reacted scared her and she hasn't done it since. However, my 5 year old still won't leave her alone. I'm about ready to start looking into a new home for her.
Posted by Blogger Candi :  May 17, 2008

This comment has been removed by the author.

We have three cats, only one wants anything to do with Jayde and that's George but Jayde has a very bad habit of sitting on George despite numerous attempts by us to teach her that kitty doesn't dig that, so she's been scratched and bitten but I never blame the cat.
As a toddler, Howie scratched her once which made me very angry but Howie's a cat and well, that's what cats do when they've just have a fisher price phone launched at their heads while doing nothing more than sleeping on a couch. I can't blame him. Cats instinctively protect. Right?
It will be interesting as Nate grows older and the cats will become more hostile as we have a senior cat, Nala who I swear secretly plots Jayde's demise from her corner under the desk. Jayde is notorious for harassing Nala, who tho declawed (so is Howie, George is not) has slowly learned will bite and slap Jayde with her paws. Jayde has not learned to leave Nala alone. But cats NEVER forget so both Nala and Howie will never be close to Jayde because of the torment they've suffered (pulling of tails is bad, very bad). George has been around Jayde since he was a kitten and is very climatized to her. Keeping his front claws very short helps minimize the damage for the times that Jayde plops herself on top of him.
I would never get rid of the cats as I've had them for too long. Howie was my baby for the longest time and Nala won't be around much longer. Eventually Jayde will have to figure it out. I hope.

Hope little Nates face heals soon ~ poor little lad!!
When we visit my Mum, Lauren always chases her two cats and often gets scratched ~ then again, Lauren is 6 and should know better ~ Nate is only dinky and is still learning, so hopefully he and the cat will come to a truce!!
Sending you much love and hugs and a little snuggle for Nate,
Tabitha XXX
Posted by Blogger Tabitha :  May 17, 2008

I have no idea how to correct the kitties behavior, but I'm sorry to say I don't really blame him neither. That being said, I know seeing your baby in pain was very upsetting and I'm sorry it had to happen.

spray him with a sqirt bottle when he does something wrong that's what we did with my sisters cat mind u he's probably a lil old for that!!
Posted by Blogger rachael :  May 17, 2008

seeing as the kitty is older, I'd go with just watching that Nate learns not to be too sudden around him and maybe try the spray bottle of water if her does look like he will strike again. I don't know how older cats do with declawing, I had my kitty's claws done when he was pretty young because he scratched the baby - he still has a small scar- near the eye. I was not angry, just taking measures. The kitty had an excellent vet, he still thinks he has claws and "tears up" the toys and couch. Ask around for a GOOD vet if you want the declaw, and go with your gut, I know people may try to talk you out of it, but if it's done well, it only takes a couple days to heal up.
Posted by Anonymous Shannon :  May 18, 2008

Hey there...we have 3 cats and a dog and the two kids.

Adam got badly scratched once..about the same age...he NEVER bugged the cat again and the cats learned to stay away.

Our dog is huge and yes does knock the kids down or swipes them with her of the jungle here.

They learn...eventually!
Posted by Anonymous crunchycarpets :  May 18, 2008

there is nothing worse than seeing blood come from your child. Boston, like Nate has never been seriously sick or hurt, but when he was about 4 months old our dog Snuggles came running through the living room and trampled over him faster than I could stop it. He scratched Boston right below his eye and I remember my first thoughts being "call 911 !!" It was fairly minor too, but I remember being furious with Snugs for the next several days. This is the same dog that I had previously said I would give my life for. Pets are just as hard to train as kids.

Oh, poor Nate. I'm with Christi on this one. I bet he learned his lesson.

I'm not a cat person anyway, so I'm probably biased, but I always expect a cat attack before a dog attack. And I believe a small dog is more likely to bite than a big one. Big dogs can chill while little ones have to be nervous about being stepped on.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  May 19, 2008

I have no idea about cats and what to do there, but I do know that we can chug all the caffeine in the world and something like this happens and we are more wide awake than we would have been after 10 cups of coffee!! I bet you were totally awake after that happened, huh? Hoping Nate heals quickly. I have seen my share of illness and accidents with my own two still pains me just as bad each time as it did the first.
Posted by Anonymous Julie B. :  May 20, 2008

I have to defend the cat here.

The cat was attacked, and reacted instinctively?

Maybe you should give the cat to someone that isnt going to punish it, for acting like a cat?

Your trying to teach your son the "not hitting thing" but yet you want to retaliate by hacking the cats legs off? Thats very brave of you, I think i'll report this site to WSPA.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  May 20, 2008

Awww Poor lil guy....Hope he heals well. As for the cat...super idea :)....See ya around.
Posted by Anonymous Charlie :  May 20, 2008

Hey Anonymous do you have kids?
Posted by Anonymous Charlie :  May 20, 2008

see.. everyones got a point, once you have kids, nothing can replace that love or make you defend anything more than that child.

i have lots of pets too and i know it would be really hard to discipline either one in the situation but i see what anonymous was saying, its kindve harsh to think the cat should be punished (not that Id ever in a million years think Karla would do that to a cat) but I Personally (just speaking for MYSELF) would have told the kitty no smacked his paws and also taught my child hitting the cat with anything is very wrong.
its all a personal choice and how Karla keeps the peace in her home is her business... I just dont think its all the kitties fault =(. dont hate me for saying it.
Posted by Blogger Tachaé :  May 21, 2008

Animal cruelty is not nice. Please do not harm the Cat Karla!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  May 21, 2008

Any one who has been reading Karlas blog for a while, would know that she is a warm and kind person and would never harm an animal!!
I am sure that what she said was in jest and she has no real intentions of cutting the cats legs off!!!! ~ so for gods sake give her a break!!
Posted by Blogger Tabitha :  May 21, 2008

I know Karla wont do that....thats a's just funny how it came out on paper lol. I see both sides as well becouse ive based my life around being impartial. I am 100% against animal cruelty. and I agree...How Karla handles things in her home is her own buisness. Gotta run...Cheers everyone
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  May 21, 2008

I know Karla wont do that....thats a's just funny how it came out on paper lol. I see both sides as well becouse ive based my life around being impartial. I am 100% against animal cruelty. and I agree...How Karla handles things in her home is her own buisness. Gotta run...Cheers everyone
Posted by Anonymous Charlie :  May 21, 2008

I know Karla wont do that....thats a's just funny how it came out on paper lol. I see both sides as well becouse ive based my life around being impartial. I am 100% against animal cruelty. and I agree...How Karla handles things in her home is her own buisness. Gotta run...Cheers everyone
Posted by Anonymous Charlie :  May 21, 2008

Hey Karla,

When you get the chance- check out my blog to see what I got for Mother's Day. The most wonderful gift!
Posted by Blogger Samantha :  May 21, 2008

How scary! I'm glad everything is ok.

And that pic from Mother's Day?

Sooooo cute!

And I see you have yet to cut the curls! ;)
Posted by Blogger Gina :  May 22, 2008

"That's very brave of you, I think I'll report this site to WSPA".

Some people have too much time.


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