Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Day 88 – Children and indoor cats


I guess this will be somehow an uncomfortable post for many pet owners. I said in the title cats and not pets because the idea for this article came to me hearing of a woman who owns some cats and has a toddler. I will start by saying that we also own a tomcat and although as some of you read here, he doesn’t really integrate in the feline category, he is still a cat. We are the kind of people who believe that even an indoor cat should be able to have access outside and breathe fresh air, even if that means a small balcony, a terrace, a rooftop or a small garden; that’s why whenever we changed houses we had to make sure that he had a place to stay outside and linger in the sun, also because Thomas enjoys pretty much the whole summer on the balcony or somewhere outside.

To get back to our topic, everyone is free to make its own rules regarding their pet (as long as you’re not torturing it), but when you have a cat and a toddler in the house there are certain things you have to be more careful about to make them both comfortable and also not to put the child in danger. If you start neglecting the cat, be sure that the minute you turn your back on them, he will get his revenge on you through the child, thinking that he is the main reason that he gets neglected for. If you allow your child to torture the cat, based on the fact that he is too small to understand, they will both get hurt at some point: your kid will think that this is normal behavior and apply it on other animals too and the cat will have a reason to scratch his eyeballs out. There is also another interesting thing when it comes to cat owners. They allow their cats to sit at their tables. I don’t like it, but I don’t judge it either, being that it’s not me who eats at their tables. But, when a toddler is involved I start judging. Unfortunately cat hair is really dangerous and in a split second tragedy can happen, so I think everyone should eat from its own bowl sort of speak. Now the shocking part. A friend of mine has an acquaintance that owns five cats. She is married and has a toddler in the house. They live in a three bedroom apartment and although it sounds spacious, I have to repeat, they have five cats and the cats have no access to a balcony or anything like it. But that’s not the weird part at all, the weird part is that the cats are allowed to go anywhere in the apartment while the baby, who is now at the crawling age, is not. He gets locked into his room or put in those horrible walkers, not allowed to crawl or move freely through the apartment. So, yes I know there are a lot of animal lovers that treat their pets like their children, but have we came to the point where we treat our children like animals? If you can’t figure out a way to make them both feel relaxed well,…

I am foolishly supposing that when you bring a cat into your house you intend to keep it even if you want a baby later on, go on vacation or change countries for that matter. So, I am continuing to foolishly suppose that when your baby arrives, you already have some plan in mind to handle the situation. It’s not fine to give up your pet, but it’s definitely not normal to restrict your child and place him second. Honestly, I don’t think anyone should be allowed to have five cats in the house, baby or no baby, especially when they don’t have any outdoor access, but that’s just me. So what do you think? Should I get four more cats to be normal or should I just continue to be weird and own just one who behaves like a dog?

About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.

Add comment

By Ela Vasilescu
Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu