Sierra Juarez is a comic and graphic artist putting a humorous spin on everyday situations.
Kittens Versus Toddlers
Kittens and toddlers are basically the same creature, if you think about it. Both have been stealing our hearts since the dawn of time. There's something about that perfect combination of childish cuteness, uncanny bursts of intelligence, and the tendency to not care what anyone thinks that makes their antics utterly hilarious.
Now I’m not saying it’s time to trade Little Johnny in for a fluffy Himalayan. All I’m saying is that your kid and your kitty might seem like they share a brain sometimes. Then again, there are also times they can be completely contrary to each other. As a long-time toddler wrangler, and a first-time kitten mommy, I’m going to share my stories, and let you make up your own mind.
A Toddler will Fuss Until you Pick Her Up; A Kitten will Fuss Until you Put Her Down
Cats are independent creatures. Getting a tiny kitten to warm up to humans is hard! My kittens squirmed, clawed, bit, and cried when I would hold them. Don't worry! I didn't hold them captive for long when they were so obviously distressed. I did, however, make it a point to gently handle them pretty often while they were small. The idea was to make sure they would get used to human contact. After about a month of this, it paid off, and both kitties are very comfortable with petting their humans.
If they Decide you are a Chair, you are now a Chair
This is something human and feline tots definitely have in common. If they decide to sit on you, stand up at your own peril. Being human, a toddler will often vocalize (loudly) to let you know he wants to be held. Cats, being cats, are all action. If a determined kitty gets kicked off your lap, don’t be surprised when she jumps, climbs, or claws her way back up there. Perhaps, in hindsight, this could be payback for training them to be petted. They probably think they need to get their humans used to being handled by cats!
Putting a Kitten in a Cage is not Frowned Upon...
Here's where you complete the sentence in your head, and decide I'm a horrible person! Hahaha no. I've never caged a toddler, unless you count playpens and baby gates. The kittens, on the other hand, do sleep in a relatively large crate so they don't wreak havoc at night. Using the crate as a kitty jail is also pretty convenient when they need to be separated or contained for short periods.
Let Sleeping Babies Lie!
While we're on the subject of infantile rambunctiousness, here's another rule that applies to kitties and kiddies alike. Never wake a sleeping baby! They need their rest, and you need a few minutes without them bouncing off the walls! It's really a win-win situation here. So whether you have a fur baby, or a human one, let sleeping babies lie!
They Both Love to Share
By share, I mean take your stuff. Anything left unattended (especially food!) is fair game. Never leave anything tasty, fragile, or both within the reach of a kitten or a kid! Otherwise, it may fall prey to curious munchkins. Just keep in mind that kittens can jump higher than toddlers can, but toddlers are sneakier.
"No" is More of a Guideline than a Rule
Like toddlers, kittens are capable of learning what "No" means. That still doesn't always mean they will listen! They also know when your back is turned, and will take full advantage of it. I can't count the times the cats have bolted away from something they're not supposed to climb on when I entered the room!
Cats Groom Themselves more Efficiently
One nice thing about kittens is that you really don't need to worry about them getting messy. Sure, they'll terrorize your house, your plants, your belongings, and so on; but they keep themselves exceptionally clean. There's a lot to be said for that good old feline self-grooming instinct! I guess it also helps that kittens don’t have clothes to wear, hair to brush, showers to take, or lollipops to eat, the way toddlers do. So, in actuality, a kitten has an unfair advantage when it comes to staying clean. It’s even more unfair when you consider that fact that when a toddler tries to lick herself clean, it’s generally frowned upon. A cat can do the same exact thing, in the middle of the living room, and nobody bats an eye. If that’s not cheating, I don’t know what is!
Toddlers can Actually Tell you What they Want
Sorry, kittens, but the small humans will always have you beat with intelligence. "I want water," "I want food," "I'm sleepy," "I want in this room," and "Pick me up" all translate to "MYEAHOW" in kitten language. It’s a little bit confusing to human ears! In this instance, toddlers definitely have it easier than their furry friends.
They're both Easily Distracted
Kittens are probably more easily distracted than tots. All it takes is the sound of a jingle-bell to make a kitten prick its ears up in curiosity. A toddler makes you work for it a little more, but can be lured by the unwrapping of a candy bar, or a few notes of the intro to their favorite TV program. In either case, the way kittens or toddlers instantly switch gears is funny to watch.
They both Grow up too Fast
No matter how hyper, how destructive, or how much work the younglings of any species are, they always seem to grow up a little too quickly. One day, you look at them, and they seem twice as large as they were yesterday. Then, you realize they're twice as smart as you thought they were. Then, you find that they're not babies anymore, and maybe you kind of miss the time when they were. Oh well. Getting bigger, smarter, and more mature is what growing up is for. Right? What matters is that you always have that little bit of time, from when they were not-so-grown-up, to look back on.