2/19/15

No, Honey, The Cat Was Not Trying To Give You A High-Five. That Was A Bitch Slap.

One family member that doesn't get enough mention on this blog is, Professor, our 11-year-old Maine Coon Cat.



He's magnificent, really. Professor comes when he's called. (Most of the time.), plays fetch, weighs a whopping 15 pounds and while he is not so much a "lap cat," he's happiest curled up next to me.

He's least happiest when Ollie is tormenting the crap out of him...

From early on in my pregnancy, I worried how Professor would react to the baby. I just kept thinking how devastated I would be if I had to give him up if the new baby was allergic to him, or worse, he tried to attack the baby.

Thankfully, neither were the case, until Ollie learned to walk. Only, the cat still didn't initiate the attacks, the toddler did.





It seemed like from the moment Ollie learned to walk, the cat learned to haul ass and hide. Very well.

I hated that the two couldn't snuggle up and be friends. Though, I suppose it's to be expected when you're dealing with a temperamental toddler and an equally temperamental cat.

In an effort to teach Ollie to play nice with the kitty, I got him a stuffed kitty to practice "nice soft pats" on. This pretty much amounted to an epic fail.


Unfortunately, to Ollie the fake cat was not nearly as much fun as the real deal, so any playing with it was very short lived.

Over the past two years, on several occasions I've tried to get both parties to get along.  On a few occasions, Professor has even let Ollie pet him. Sadly, it never fails that Ollie gets so excited that he's petting Professor, that he pets too hard, or pulls his tail; which always ends in Professor darting out of the room.

I just told myself, one day they would be best friends. Surely.

Well, I think the day is close!!! Recently, something has changed...

I'm not sure if it's because Ollie is pushing 3 years old and is finally realizing that he needs to be calm around the cat, or if he's finally giving up on chasing him. Whatever it is, the two can be in a room together now without my intervention. At first.

For the past few nights,  I sit on the floor and call over Professor, then have Ollie sit and watch how I do 'nice pets.' After a few minutes, I have Ollie come over very slowly and put his hand out for Professor to smell.

This is where it usually goes south.

Professor smells his hand, then Ollie jerks it away, making Professor go right into his south paw stance.

Ollie:  Mommy, Professor is trying to give me a high-five!

Me: No, Honey, he's preparing to bitch slap you scared and going on the defensive.

As much as I want them to get along, after two years and many failed attempts, I know it has little to do with me. Ollie has to learn to, be nice  and gentle with Professor. And Professor has to learn to trust that Ollie does't want to hurt him.

I know the two will eventually come together, I just hope it's sooner than later.

Do you have the same problem? Any tips that have worked for you?





April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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