Growing up in a house that always had pets, I, too inherited the gene for loving the little (or big) fur balls. My Dad is allergic to cats so we never owned one plus I just never quite “got” them. They seemed sketchy, detached and the thought of a litter box or some of their other behaviors was not remotely appealing to me, in fact, it grossed me out. My kids, however, liked cats. They must have acquired that defective DNA from my ex, right?? I got them DOGS… big dogs! We’ve had two yellow labs, Tibbs and Palomino, and we had a big ole coon hound, Champ. Our home zoo over the years has also included hamsters (lots of them), rabbits, turtles, frogs, fish, an iguana… but wait, this story is supposed to be about a cat, I digress. Enter Kitter Witters (stop laughing).
My daughter purchased a gift for her boyfriend. Not an article of clothing, a memento or some “normal” lifeless present, she selects a little black and white kitten. Her well thought out plan is for this “gift” to reside at our house until she gives it to him. Likely story, yes? Mind you, she did not check with his parents first to see if they would welcome another pet in their home. Common sense would dictate one to ask that very important question before giving a gift that you have to feed and clean-up after on a daily basis and will actually cost you money down the road. Who raised this child?? This was not the first time my little Sweet Tart has brought animals home… stray dogs, wounded birds, even a wild baby bunny which she promptly put in an old hamster cage (do NOT do that by the way)! You can see where this is heading with our “temporary” visitor… days turned into weeks, weeks into months… but sadly, not months into years… only two years to be exact. My daily rants of “when is that cat leaving” eventually subsided and I slowly turned into a closet cat-person, not willing to fully admit that I actually liked any feline. I’d often look at him and, in jest, say “I don’t love you.” Me and my sarcasm, but truthfully, he had melted my heart. His real name was Oreo, however, he was never, not once, called this; he was “Kitter Witters.” A very masculine name befitting any male and one I’m sure this poor guy was very proud to be saddled with? He hung with the big dogs like he was one of them and, because of his dog-like tendencies, it somehow felt acceptable to like him. Poor manly cat-dog Kitter Witter’s time with us was short lived. He became very sick with some kind of rare genetic condition and this non-cat person spent many a night sleeping (or not sleeping at all) on our hard-wood floor feeding him with a syringe. The hospital ward I created in our living room was eventually shut down and he went to the vet. My Dad was having a somewhat routine surgery and I called the vet from pre-op to check on him. Kitter Witters had passed away during the night. Three sisters with their father in pre-op waiting for them to wheel him away, two calm and collected, one, me, hysterical. I’m sure the nurses were rolling their eyes thinking, “she must be the overly emotional one.” They gave me a box of Kleenex. I needed it.
Cat-free now. Who needs a cat anyways? I don’t even like them, right? A received a picture text several months later of a little grey kitten. Three guesses who this text is from. “Whose cat is that?!?!?!” No reply. Here we go again! The grandiose story this time is that she saved this kitten from being fed to a snake. Seriously?? She also had some swamp land in Florida to sell me... cheap... cutting me a great deal since I was her Mom and all. I didn’t put up a fight this time. “Sophie” stayed with us, I mean, I couldn’t have her being a snake’s tasty treat, could I? Oddly, I am this cat’s favorite. I am pseudo-mom. No one loves me like Soph loves me. Go figure.
Sophia, a pretty good escape artist, loves the great outdoors and sneaks out at every opportunity. She went AWOL in late January, only to return over three days later. She came home, well, she came home knocked up. Where did I go wrong with her?? I’m about ready to mourn another cat but instead I’m going to be adding several more? Not ready for this!
She was kind enough to share her pregnancy with me along the way, literally. Her and her fat belly slept occasionally on my back and I’d be the one to wake up with a nice pregnancy induced backache. Ahhh… thanks Soph. We both made it through, however, and she welcomed three adorable babies on April 2nd, a black one, a black and white one, and a white and black spotted one. Not a single grey one in the bunch. In true motherly fashion, babies come first with Sophia. I tried to help her, because you know, I know so much about cats, but she wouldn’t have it. I moved the babies several times, one by one, to new locations that I felt much more suitable for kittens, only for her to move them back, one by one. Momma knows best. To watch her with them is to truly witness “motherhood” in action. Nurturing, caring, loving and even bossy. Mamista Sophia runs a tight ship! One got a little stuck between two pieces of furniture and was making quite a ruckus. Soph was frantic, her eyes speaking to me loud and clear, “help her!” A moment I, or any mother can relate, to. Must-Protect-Those-Babies.
I woke up today, Mother’s Day, hearing the pitter patter of little feet… little baby kitten feet. Thank you for that Sophia. Truly a gift.
Even greater than my gratitude for tiny kitten paws, I'm thanking my son and daughter for showing me both the joys and challenges that a child can bring into your life. I am a better person for having the honor of being their Mother. The most amazing gift of all.
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt
My children, amongst many other things, just might have taught me that I like cats?? But that little tidbit is just between you and I. Capese?