We haven't really established a complex nightly routine for Sophie's bedtime yet. She doesn't enjoy being read to and singing, at least my singing, doesn't seem to calm her. We do give her a bath every other night followed by a lotion massage, so I guess that's something. The only consistent thing is nursing. Each night, I will turn down the lights and change her into her night clothes and then we will sit down in the rocker for her bedtime cuddle and nursing. She lays down on the Boppy pillow curled up around my waist and settles in for a snack. Every single night, about one minute after we sit down, our older kitty, Potter (her full name is Notsohairy Potter), strolls into the room and jumps up onto my lap in front of the Boppy pillow.
She sits down with her front paws on one of my legs and rear paws on my other leg. While Sophie nurses, I caress Sophie's hair with one hand and Potter with the other. Many nights, although not all, Sophie will reach back with her top arm and ever so gently pet Potter. Potter always rubs her head against Sophie's back and arm, purring loudly.
What is remarkable about this to me is that at no other time would the word "gently" apply to the way Sophie acts towards the cats. In fact, aggressive and rough would be far more appropriate terms. However, the cats are always gentle with her. Gentle in ways that they are not with older humans. I wonder if they know she is a baby. If they understand that she is not just small, but also young. In particular, Potter, who we discovered too late has no maternal instinct towards other cats, or at least to the only kitten she has been exposed to, Gomez. So it surprises me that she is so gentle with Sophie when she grabs her or rolls onto her and further that she seeks her out.
I suspect it has to do with how calm Sophie is during these quiet hours of the evening. Potter can curl up next to her warmth and just enjoy her smell (she is so yummy, mmmm) without fear of eye poking, ear pulling or whisker tugging. I know these are special times for me.
But who knew that me having a baby would bring out the mothering instinct in my cat?
PS - For all you kitty lovers out there, go see this!