Thursday 3 January 2008

Children Do Not Like Catnip: The Reminders A Childless Cat Owner Gives Himself When In The Company Of The New Offspring Of Friends And Relatives

1. When engaging the attention of toddlers, do not tickle them under the chin or wave Shipley's favourite fluffy feather stick toy under their nose, in an attempt to get them to bat it about.

2. When the talk turns to how rambunctious little Edwin/Dylan/Amelie is, do not attempt to work your theories about “measuring cat strength being a bit like the football results” into the conversation*.

3. Those cat biscuits with the fancy packaging with names like “Enticements” may work as a special treat for The Bear when he is in one of his despondent moods, but they probably will not have the same effect on a colicky juvenile, and could lead to irrevocable digestion problems.

4. When new-parent friends start to joke about how expensive their offspring’s taste is getting (“It’s only Waitrose rusks for Minnie!”), try not to see it as an opportunity to talk about Bootsy's preference for memory foam over polyester.

5. Do not spend an overt amount of time cuddling Bootsy, since it may make new-parent friends think you are only slightly less bonkers than Tori Amos was that time she posed for one of her album covers suckling a pig.

6. Upon hearing friends discuss the intellectual development of their offspring, do not try and compare it with that of your cats.

* Just as it never made sense to me as a kid that Aston Villa could beat Liverpool 2-1, and Liverpool could beat Wimbledon 5-0 but Wimbledon could beat Aston Villa 3-0, it does not make sense to me now that Ralph can beat up Shipley, and Shipley can beat up Janet, but Janet is still, on balance, slightly harder than Ralph.