I don't care who's a good boy—back away from the baby, bud
December 3, 2017 11:16 PM   Subscribe

When it comes to babies, dogs are quite protective [lots of barking]. Cats (with notable exceptions) are more about the snuggles [h/t Miss Cellania].
posted by Johnny Wallflower (30 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Our cat is not in to snuggling with the kids - the adults, yes, but ... well... Toby is the type that if we offered him a small baby to look at, he would turn to us and make sure that we were serious that this was to fill his stomach...
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:13 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

Thank you, Johnny Wallflower. Turns out head bonks from cats on babies is the perfect start to a Monday.
posted by not that mimi at 4:41 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]

We had a shepherd mix who would pretty much always go find the youngest person in a group and protect them. She had been my brother's dog, but we ended up with her because the dog was a bit *too* protective of my brother's new kid.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:57 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

Our youngest adored kittens when he was very young indeed. As both grew up, the cats adored him in turn.
posted by doctornemo at 5:03 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

Our first child was so needy as a baby and I was so desperate for sleep that I put the cat into the crib one night and solved all the problems at once. The cat liked it, too. That baby is now 20 and still crazy for cats.
posted by Miss Cellania at 5:56 AM on December 4 [9 favorites]

Wanna maybe put up a warning that the first 9 seconds of the first link involves a dog being hit with a crop?
posted by tatiana wishbone at 6:00 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

All three of my kids' first word was cat - all for the same enormous ginger kitty who protected them, cuddled them and eventually taught them manners when they were a bit older. He's long gone but they are all cat people as adults.
posted by leslies at 6:19 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]

Our first child was so needy as a baby and I was so desperate for sleep that I put the cat into the crib one night and solved all the problems at once.

This happened to me as a baby too, but with Cocker Spaniels rather than a cat. My parents had a male and female pair when I was born; the female was cream and the male was black and white. They'd both watch over me as a baby; everyone always told me how inseparable they were. The female passed away when I was a year old; the male, named Pete, was my very bestest friend until he passed away when I was six.

To this day I have a thing with dogs; the vast majority approach me happily and unbidden. I've lost count of the number of dog owners who've asked what my "trick" is. If I have one, I figure it was learned as a baby...!

Did grow up with cats too, but my parents were never good with cats and as a result they'd keep their distance. Once I was old enough to have figured out why, I made sure to be alone when I'd call the cats. We had great fun hunting lizards, and my main childhood cat was also very good at finding well-hidden wildflowers.
posted by fraula at 6:27 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]

no lizards were harmed
some garden snakes were, however – by the very proud hunter cat
posted by fraula at 6:28 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]

"Our first child was so needy as a baby and I was so desperate for sleep that I put the cat into the crib one night and solved all the problems at once."

What????? You weren't worried about the cat stealing the baby's breath??????
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:37 AM on December 4 [9 favorites]

Which actually happens in the 'about the snuggles' link at 2.40!
posted by biffa at 6:54 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]

Our dog was so protective of babies, that once we had a our second child, the dog had to go live on a literal farm upstate, because no one (especially not the other toddler) was allowed near the baby.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:02 AM on December 4

All I learned from the dog video is that people are really fuckin weird and all I learned from the cat video is that babies don't even look real.
posted by janey47 at 7:40 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]

my name is cat,
and wen its nite,
wen the babby
is sleeping tight
and all the olds
haf gon to bed -
i jump in there
i bomp its hed
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:43 AM on December 4 [26 favorites]

I always recall that the cats could theoretically cause schizophrenia-like symptoms. Everything fun or nice in life either seems to cause cancer or schizophrenia. :(
posted by soakingbook at 8:50 AM on December 4

Dude do you spend all day looking at adorable animal videos how do I sign up for this job.
posted by bq at 9:02 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

To my eye, some of those dogs are trained protection dogs, some are anxiously trying to defuse intra-pack conflict, some know that it's play and want to be played with instead, and some maybe also want to join in playing rough with the baby. A good thing, too. If your dog really thought you couldn't be trusted, you would have a catastrophic problem.
posted by ckridge at 9:05 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

This came across my feeds today - apropos. Steve Hofstetter: Kids vs. Dogs
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:36 AM on December 4

What????? You weren't worried about the cat stealing the baby's breath??????

My mother-in-law would have plotzed if she had found out, but I am not superstitious. I also know that cats can smell milk on a baby's mouth and just want to sniff.
posted by Miss Cellania at 10:05 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]

You know, I was going to post a jokey counter-argument based around the scene from the 1985 Stephen King film Cat's Eye where Drew Barrymore's loyal cat goes mano a mano with the evil troll that lives in the baseboards of her room to protect her. But no. No, on revisiting it on YouTube, it's just too goddamn stupid.

And as even a cursory stroll through my posting history will show, it's not like I set the bar all that high.
posted by Naberius at 10:25 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]

When my son was about a year old, we were living out in the country and had a major mouse problem. We didn't want to use poison because owls, so our solution was traps and a cat, even though we are not cat people (and I'm allergic). We ended up with Lyra, a tuxedo cat who was around the same age as our son. That cat slept in his crib every night, and when it was time to move out of that house (so hunting services were no longer required), we were chatting with a friend about maybe giving the cat to him and my son, who was 4 at the time, said without even looking up from playing with his toys, and with a tone so final we didn't even consider it further: "We're not getting rid of the cat."

Kid and cat are almost 7 and she still sleeps on his bed every night. On cold nights she sleeps draped across him.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:27 AM on December 4 [15 favorites]

I'm with ckridge, a lot of the dog ones feel like training vids.
posted by rhizome at 10:31 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

That doesn't mean they're not good boys, tho.
posted by rhizome at 10:32 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]

We adopted a rescue dog about a little over a year ago, when my son was 8, and my daughter was 11. It took some time for the dog to learn to trust all of us. His last owner died (so we're told), and whoever took ownership of his house just booted the dogs out the back door. So, he was understandably a bit reserved at first.

He warmed up to my wife first, and me second, but the kids... He tolerated them, but wasn't super interested in interacting with them. They would come over, he would sometimes bare his teeth, and we taught them to respect his signals. It was difficult for my son, because he loves the dog, and wanted nothing more than for the dog to be his bestest friend.

One day, we took the dog to the off-leash park, and were attempting to play. He had never been especially interested in play, but he would follow us around. As my son is waving around a tennis ball, another dog (some kind of lab mix) saw the ball and came rushing over to play. Our dog saw this other dog rushing at the boy, and immediately ran to cut off the other dog, and protect his boy. The Boy said "he protected me! He loves me!"

I love our dog. Such a good boy.
posted by curiousgene at 10:56 AM on December 4 [6 favorites]

I learned the other day (after a lifetime of cats) that it's called head bunting.
posted by Peach at 1:40 PM on December 4 [3 favorites]

Dude do you spend all day looking at adorable animal videos how do I sign up for this job.

There's a waiting list. Miss C. might accept freelance work.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:48 PM on December 4 [3 favorites]

My dad told me a story about how my great-grandmother used to put her baby girl out on the front porch in her carriage during nap time on summer afternoons. The family dog decided it was her job to look after the baby, and parked herself right beside the carriage every time the baby was in it. No visitor could set foot on the porch steps without coming face to snarling, teeth-bared face with the resident canine nanny. Then one day the baby wasn't there any more. They thought the dog would die too, of grief, given the way she carried on over the loss of her baby. She cried and cried and would barely eat for a couple of weeks.
posted by orange swan at 3:37 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]

Wait what happened to the baby
posted by rhizome at 4:21 PM on December 4 [4 favorites]

posted by bq at 4:42 PM on December 4

The cowdogs I had as pups when my kids were growing up and while the grandkids were little were all good dogs around kids, and I trusted them with other kids. The cowdogs I have had since all the littles have grown up seem to think short humans are to be rounded up and their heels nipped if not moving fast enough. I discourage this behavior strongly, and they seem well-behaved, but I haven't ever trusted them as I did the former dogs.

The kittens that were raised years ago with kids were always laid back and mellow, even if they were feral to begin with. The kids would carry them upside down, dress them up, take them for rides in the wagon or a bike basket--all sorts of silliness. I didn't realize my teen son had a habit of taking his orange cat to school with him in his backpack! He never got kicked out of school, either. (The cat as well as the kid.) The cats I have now that there are only us two olds in the house generally take a while before they will hang out with strange adults, and they vanish when there are kids around.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:05 PM on December 4

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