My married, theater-type friends, Teddy and Leigh (celebrity couple name Teigh or Leddy – I haven’t decided which), recently plucked their first baby from the cabbage patch, and as someone who is raising five cats, I can relate to their uncertainty and anxiety that accompanies such a great responsibility. This is why I am devoting today’s article to raising a newborn baby.
You may scoff at my offer of providing unsolicited parenting advice, but baby-raising and cat-raising aren’t dissimilar, and I have raised five cats without killing any of them (so far). Both obligations make the task difficult by a frustrating language barrier, both pretty much sleep their life away, and both have an inability to support themselves on their own. Without you, the caregiver, in the equation, they would starve, poop everywhere, and/or destroy your nice furniture.
The following advice is for all new parents. Unlike uppity soccer moms, I share what I learn without discrimination, cheesy anecdotes, or pleas for more wine.
New parents quickly realize that babies, just like cats, have a tendency to vomit as much as an Alex Perry model during Sydney fashion week, and there is no 12-step program that can deter it. However, unless your baby or cat is a basic whore, they are not motivated to regurgitate by vanity. If you are unfamiliar, cat vomit is typically a result of either consuming plastic, an increase in stomach bile accumulating as a result of an abnormal feeding schedule, or hairballs. This means you can avert baby barf by keeping plastic items out of your baby’s reach, feed them on a regular schedule, and have them ingest hairball prevention treats sold in the pet aisle of your local department store.
Cats have a propensity to unabashedly dash through the house at 3 am. To prevent this activity in babies, department stores sell these roofless cages called cribs. Placing a baby in this contraption confines it overnight, keeping it from waking you up at unnatural hours pattering recklessly through your house. The trade-off, however, is that babies, disgruntled from imprisonment, will punish their captors with high-pitched, super-sonic squealing. When this happens, it’s best to ignore it. For example, the other night, Zoe woke me at 2:30 am meowing loudly in the hallway because she wanted in the attic. I ignored it, and she eventually stopped. Implanting a pair of plugs in my ear holes the next night prevented my sleep from being interrupted again. Ear plugs were a splendid invention.
My cats love getting high. Their addiction to catnip doesn’t alarm me since they seem to use it responsibly, so why not let your baby enjoy a little euphoria, too? After all, your newborn recently experienced the trauma of birth. Don’t you think it has earned it? If you get your baby high, be sure it stays home because I’ve seen my cats do some weird shit while under the influence, and I don’t have advice on how to explain why your baby was seen slowly rubbing its ass against a light pole on Elvis Presley Blvd. You can legally buy catnip at any pet supply store, though the good stuff comes through the mail from a seller that goes by the name DoctorMewtopiaXXX (you didn’t hear this from me).
Manufacturers and merchants have beguiled innocent parents into believing that your baby will not love you unless you buy expensive toys for it to play with. What many parents don’t realize is that your baby gives more of a shit in its litter box than it does about whether or not their entertainment is branded with a Disney or Baby Einstein logo. Take my advice (I have, after all, raised five cats). Lay down some cardboard and scatter it with colorful ribbons, hair clips, and milk jug caps. Your baby will amuse itself for hours.
I think the above information is sufficient to get by without accidentally injuring your new baby, so I’ll leave the new parents to reflect on this information before I add more. After all, it’s better to teach in manageable doses and not overwhelm parents with too much powerful knowledge at once.
Until the next chapter, feel free to contact me via email if you need a babysitter.
by Cary Vaughn (2014)