When my parents and Grandma had come to terms with the fact I was going to have a baby, I received an unexpected compliment.
"Well she is good with the cat", my Grandma attested.
So here was I, the youngest of my family, a party animal who had never so much as held a baby let alone grown one - about to have one.
The only inkling my nervous family had about my potential mothering skills was the fact that my feline was putty in my hands!
As funny as this recommendation from my Grandma was, now that I am a mother, I am finding the parallels between the cat and my son to be astonishing.
Let's start with when I want to read a magazine. Forget it.
In my “bachelorette with a cat” days I used to love my weekends. I would often take the opportunity to lie outside in the morning sun with a good mag.
Inevitably, the cat, Princess Baby (PB) would see me enjoying my mag and decide it was "me(ow) time" and plonk herself blatantly on the magazine demanding my undivided attention.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was out the front garden trying once again for some quality mag time when my son, the little Prince, decided he would take the magazine out of my hands, rip out a page and suck on the front cover.
Since introducing solids to the little Prince, the comparisons continue.
With PB I would only have to walk past the cupboard where the tin of chicken & liver was kept and she would start circling my legs.
As soon as I opened the cutlery drawer and God forbid, tapped the tin with a spoon - the yowling would commence, and would not stop until that first bit of liver was down the hatch.
I have noticed an eerily similar scenario when I start mashing the pumpkin with a fork for the Little Prince. The “clink clink” of the fork on the dish sets off a similar burst of impatience and excitement in the Prince.
Thirdly, the needy nights.
P.B loved the comfort of my bed. I bought her a luxurious abode for her furry self but she just turned her nose up at it and used to jump up on my bed to nuzzle at my neck.
She would sleep there beautifully for a good few hours before deciding she might like to go outside. I’d eventually get up sleepily and put her out.
Of course outside would get boring and within a few hours later she would be back at my door yowling to be let in.
If I ignored her, she’d keep going and my heart would break, but I’d ignore her until she started climbing up the gauze. Controlled meowing was hard. Having finally won – she’d be back on the bed - curled up in a ball and sleeping.
If my foot would move in my sleep, P.B would jump on it and the games would begin.
Enter Little Prince. It appears my boy prefers my bed to his dazzling cot in his beautifully decked out boudoir – a room just as luxurious as P.B's leopard print apartment.
He would much rather sleep in the big bed with his parents then by himself in there. Similarly, one false move and its either game time, nuzzle time or “return him to the cot” time.
We are on his watch when its nap time and his comfort is what matters.
Sometimes with PB, I used to sleep in a little corner of my bed just so that she could stretch out comfortably. Heaven forbid her comfort was sacrificed! The same goes with the Little Prince he is often sprawled out with an arm on his Dad and whacks me in the head when he rolls over as I scrunch up in the corner trying not to breathe so as not to wake him.
As much as her comment gave the family a good laugh - Grandma did have a point!
I am happy with the similarities between the cat and my baby and oddly, PB did prepare me, in some ways for mama-hood.
So unless the little Prince starts scratching the furniture and burying his own poo, I am happy with the lessons I learnt about nurturing from my cat.