Fan Mail Letters
From Cheryl - 25 Oct 2010

Animalkind, Inc

Hi Katrin!

We adopted a kitten from Animal Kind at the end of February this year. The kitten is doing very well, and I have some new pictures for your site. I promised to send some pictures for other new moms to see that having a cat and a newborn is not a bad thing! When I adopted Icky (originally named Sylvia when we adopted her from your shelter), I was about 6 months pregnant. I was worried about how the birth of my daughter would affect Icky, since she was the first baby of the house and very very spoiled by us!

Several people thought we were crazy for adopting cats right before the birth of the baby, but I really wanted my daughter to grow up with friends, like I and my husband had. When my Olivia was brought home, Icky jumped into her bassinet (something she did before when she was in what we call her "krazy-go-kitten mode") and was shocked to see the baby. I was afraid that this would be a problem and that Icky might attack the baby, but a curious thing happened. Icky never jumped into the bassinet again!

However, she would jump to the rim of the bassinet, but only when Olivia (Ollie for short) would cry. She would stand guard till someone came to check on the baby, and if no one came fast enough, she would find someone and yell at them to come! We were amazed!

We see now that our fears about Icky's interaction with the baby are unfounded. In fact, it seems that Icky has taken on the role of big sister and guardian! When I nurse Ollie, Icky has to curl up next to me and under her feet . When the baby is in her bouncy seat, Icky is always underneath it or nearby. And when we sleep, I often times wake to find Icky curled up next to Ollie.

We are very much in love with our little family, and we hope our story will let other parents feel a bit more secure about adopting a cat or kitten even with a baby in the house!

Please enjoy our pictures of Icky & Ollie together :)

Best wishes,
Cheryl Apicella.

P.S. ... I'd also like to add that we recently switched pediatricians (our first was too old and out of date!), but the new one asked if we had pets, and we told her yes, our cat. She said, "Oh that's wonderful! It would be even better if you had a dog as well!" I asked her why and she said because having cats and dogs in the home from birth on greatly reduces the likelihood of a child developing allergies!

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