by Whiskers, matriarch of mischief
Good morning, friends.
I don't know what started me down this road but... Well, actually, I do.
Grammy and I were having a quiet chat and a china mug of Tazo's Wild Sweet Orange tea while the rest of the family napped. It was lovely and peaceful; soft classical music in the background, snow muffling the outdoor sounds, Grammy with heating pad at her back and me snuggled and purring in her lap one paw on her tummy, one balancing my teacup.
Yes, yes, I know... Sitting where I am I promise I'm being careful not to spill my hot brew in her lap. That would not be clever and I'm a clever girl so... enough said. Oh, that's funny... me sitting in her lap lapping up my tea. *giggles* Okay, that was weak but then so was my tea. Grammy makes it medium strength and I like it a wee bit stronger but she's the one with the opposable thumbs so I don't complain. On days when she's preoccupied and it sets longer I get it my way.
Okay, I know I'm mind wandering here but remember we tend to do that in our 'middle years'. What are middle years, you say? Those times between being and raising little 'uns and becoming old timers. A time when responsibilities ease up and we can just sit, relax and reflect on our lives, a time when we still have our faculties before they become faulty or frail.
As you know, Grammy was a foster mom and Mousie and I were her first fosters. A long line of fosters came soon after... some older, some youngish and one in particular was very young, barely out of kitten-hood herself, skinny with a bulging belly. Today we'll talk a bit about life around here with Miss Fidelia, her brood and the activities that we all got into while she was living here.
Fidelia was a beauty. Cute face. Full of mischief... just our kind of kitty. On arrival she was about 3 weeks into her pregnancy, barely more than 1/2 her estimated adult weight with 5 wiggling lumps squirming and bulging her otherwise skinny body.
Grammy had a mission... get this kitten nourished and her weight up to give her babies a chance. As usual, she went to work... feeding her, putting together a bed for the pending birth and planning a playpen for babies to roll around in as they nursed, slept, scrapped and gained their sight. AND all went well until the little bundles of joy decided to leave the warmth of mother's womb and enter the big bad world.
Since this isn't something Grammy can dwell on let it be said that Grammy called the vet then they took a frantic taxi ride once she'd seen Fidelia's struggles and heard her screams of pain.
Trusting the cat-whisperer vet implicitly Grammy returned home to await the outcome. It was an all-day struggle for mom and vet to get those babies out of such a wee girl alive. Sadly, the first one was lost. Later that evening Mom and four feisty, miniscule but scrappy, hungry balls of pending mischief were delivered and settled into the nursery.
Then began the adventure of a lifetime. Daily scraps over one teat. Of course, the other seven milking stations were viable and on standby but all four floundered and fought for the same one. Grammy intervened and moved them to other spigits but cries and flailing ensued as they fought their way back to the choicest meal. Eventually all got fed and once satisfied the former scrappers curled up together and napped until the next feeding when the feuding began once more.
Within a few days Etude, still blind for another week, was crawling up the blanket of the nest seeking out his as yet, invisible world. To protect him Grammy placed pillows on the floor outside the nesting basket so when he flopped over the edge he'd be cushioned. He and his sister, Musetta were intrepid explorers, though blind, and otherwise helpless. Determined, they were on the move. Grammy got a workout keeping an eye on those two.
She imagined that was bad enough but once the eyes of all four opened all H-e-double hockey sticks broke out. Those scraps of fur were on the move. The legs were wobbly but there was no stopping them. Out of the nesting box, onto the pillows they flopped. Then a scramble/flop/crawl to the bed where they dug in their wee claws and climbed the sheer cliff to view their new world.
Such exhilaration. All four would climb one behind the other then torpedo off the bed like flying squirrels. Unlike those fliers they would belly-flop onto more pillows that Grammy had fortuitously scattered around the bed. Repeat and repeat once more before flopping into a comatose nap-heap.
And she thought this was chaotic … these continuous rounds of climb, fly, flop, scramble, repeat. At least they were contained to the nursery room. They were nothing compared to what was to follow.
For the next 5 months the household, Fidelia, Mousie and I withstood the onslaught … more fights over the teat of preference, wrestling matches in milked-down food saucers, tiny pawprints tracked throughout the condo, and marathons around the condo with scrambles up and over upholstery, across Grammy's softer bits. lap or occasionally through her hair if she got in the way.
Fidelia tolerated their mischief well... giving them smacky-paws when necessary but otherwise left them to explore their new world. Mousie and I retreated to our favourite shearling-lined chair (pre-Moth Day) out of the line of fire. And Grammy was kept busy mopping floors, washing dishes, bathing food-caked kittens and herself, changing bedding in the nursery and doing the never-ending laundry.
Just as suddenly as they arrived sister and brother pair, Musetta and Scherzo, were spayed/neutered and adopted together followed soon after by Fidelia. All to good homes. Grammy has kept in touch with the 'purrents' and all three are thriving, happy. The household settled down into a less frenzied state of two mischievous boys, Mousie and me. But that was just the calm before the storm, so to speak.
Stay tuned next week for further musings....
Comments are always welcomed.
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.