Daniel and His Wabu

Lucy enjoying Daniel's new mini couch

Like many couples, J and I had pets before we had children. We have three extremely spoiled cats, and they have been part of our family since 1997, 1999, and 2001 respectively. So yeah, they’ve pretty much ruled the roost and called the shots since day 1.

I was curious how things would change when Daniel joined the family. We tried the technique used with dogs and brought home his first t-shirt for the kitties to sniff. The kitties were curious about the newborn, wondering what was that strange humanoid who wailed often. As Daniel became more mobile and their food and water bowls became prime targets for him, they were wary of him, and I cleaned up upturned water bowls several times before we placed them out of his reach. The kitties took their banishment from our bedroom with relatively good grace (because Daniel slept in our room for his first 1.5 years) as well as the other changes to their routine.

Thankfully, Daniel loves the cats. I was so worried that he would be allergic like his uncle and cousin are, and that would cause a major dilemma, but thankfully he’s not. He truly loves them. He has been fascinated with them since he was aware of them and this fascination has increased as he crawled and then walked. “Mama” was one of his first words, but he coined a term for his kitties soon after that has stuck: “Wabu”. We’re not quite sure how he came up with that word, but it has lasted. I’ve spelled out and said “cat” to him as well as the names of our three cats several times, and each time, he responds, “Wabu.” Frankly, it’s adorable. His first made-up word! Sometimes he even calls us “Wabu,” which we consider to be a major compliment.

Petting his "Wabu"

Last weekend our littlest cat, Lucy, decided to spend a lot of time in the kitchen while Daniel was there. J and I were a little surprised because once they notice he’s in a room, they quickly exit (pulled tails are no fun despite how gentle he tries to be), but this time, Lucy stayed for a long time. He was able to rub her and kiss her, and she seemed to enjoy it, reclining on his new mini couch. We’ve noticed how they love his toys and he loves their toys. I thought she would exit fairly quickly, but she seemed content to recline, despite the fact that she was in his territory. Lucy loves cuddles and rubs, and I wondered if she had realized that Daniel was a prime source of cuddles and hugs!

Daniel is in a very sweet stage in which he wants to kiss everything, and Lucy is no exception. She endured many kisses and hugs from him, and I was grateful that she did. In the interest of full disclosure, our kitties are not declawed, so we supervise “play time” with them very closely.

It really has been magical for J and I to see our kitties embrace Daniel. Bit has clawed at the door when Daniel would cry, acting like a concerned mommy. SW, our shy kitty, is intrigued but hesitant. I think they’ll become great friends when Daniel is a little older, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him cuddled at the foot of Daniel’s bed. Lucy wants cuddles and isn’t shy, but she has only recently acknowledged Daniel as a suitable cuddle giver.

We can’t wait to see how his relationship with them develops as he ages, but we hope that he never stops calling them by the name he coined for them. We hope they will always be his “Wabu.”

Pure sweetness!

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