Fluffy things are friends. This is what our toddler has learned recently. This also means that she is at a chasing-and-patting, and sometimes - grabbing - the pup and cats stage.
The good news: Jessie is extremely tolerant of this and retaliates with dog kisses. Alfie (or Fat Alfie, as we call him during winter) is getting a bit of exercise and secretly loves baby cuddles. Millie the kitten enjoys the chase and doesn't mind the occasional pat.
The bad news: Foxie our black pirate cat is super sensitive and is stressed at the attention. He has been disappearing during the day to reappear at night. But only for a quick cuddle and food, only to disappear again.
So I thought, what if, instead of him slinking into the house at midnight, I leave cat food out for him on a raised wooden stand by the veranda? So that he can visit during the day and not have to come face to face with baby (and Jessie the pup) beyond the cat door?
This seemed like a good idea the first few days - until I noticed the Slugs.
It's spring, and slugs and snails have come out of their winter hiding places to munch on our garden and steal our cat food.
(I never knew slugs liked cat food but after I googled it, I learned that it is, in fact, a thing.)
Slugs have an excellent sense of smell, and are attracted to pet food. They congregate at night, in the cool wet air, to slime all over Foxie's dish, and horrify yours truly.
We won't be leaving pet food out again. (Sorry Foxie.)
We are instead ensuring safe access to the kitchen and the cat food bowls separate to the baby and Jessie the pup (who also thinks it's sometimes fun to chase them.) Baby gates, FTW.
Jessie and the baby are also constantly getting lessons on 'How not to chase the cats'.
Hopefully Foxie will soon come back home and lounge all day with the rest of the furfamily!