With 9 adult cats and countless kittens, I don’t get 8 hours sleep any more. It’s all catnaps. Not totally a bad thing. That’s when my memories come back. I get a choice, either a 45 minute nap or take the time write, while the details of the dream are fresh.
Maybe I can learn to live with out the extra nap time.
In 2012, I was scheduled for a hernia repair operation. The exact date had was pending. My wife Bonnie traveled to Georgia, to take care of her 96 year old mother. The next morning the Surgery department at the Hospital, called me at 5:30 am. They told me they had an opening in their schedule, could I be there by 7 am? I wanted to get the operation over as fast as possible, so that I could change my insurance companies, so I told them sure thing.
I was able to wake my sister up to take me, 4 hours later, I’m back home, stiff, sore and woozy. I told my Sis good bye, that I was gonna go to bed and sleep and sleep it off.
I was still sleeping around 12 midnight when I woke hearing kitty crying from somewhere. I was almost afraid to fight the drowsiness, not liking what I heard. I felt a motion on the pillow beside me. It took me a few minutes to get up and turn on the light. There was Pepsi on the pillow next to mine. She had given birth to three stillborn preemies.
Pepsi had gotten sick a day or two before. A virus of some kind. This caused her to give premature birth. I kept hearing meowing, little baby meowing. Like babies looking for the mama. I could see the babies on my pillow, they weren’t moving.
Painful as it was (oh and it was), I got down on my knees beside the bed and looked under it with the flashlight. There on top of the old Scrabble game that Aunt Alice gave me for Christmas 40 years ago, were 3 screaming, squirming and hungry little kitties.
I was able to get a finger on the edge of the Scrabble box and pull it out from under. Pepsi was really acting weird. She would sniff the babies, let them suck for about a minute then she got up and walked around, coming back to sniff their noses.
Not a chance right? It would have been easy to throw in the towel. I mean I was hurt, semi invalid for a day or two and I’ve got three little wharf rats that needed help from somebody. I was the only one there. I opened a can of Walmart’s kitty milk, nuked it for 10 seconds, got an eye dropper and went to town. I fed all three, one at a time, talking to them to ease their stress. Afterwards I would wash their face and then rub their little bodies with a dry cloth, trying simulate a mama’s rough tongue.
I was alright as long as I was sitting up. If I had to bend over or even stand. Oh, I was hurting. I was afraid I’d bust the stitches, my stomached had been sliced opened again for the third time. My son Julius came home kinda late. He help keep me company while I fed the three scrawny kittens.
They were different shades of red, white and pink. As I groomed them their colors began to turn white, except for the places where their hair hadn’t grown in yet.
During all of this Pepsi want to go into the room where her three kittens had been born dead. She was sneezing and gagging, what a dilemma. Pepsi wasn’t any help at all. Chico was the babies’ daddy. He was there with me the entire time. You can’t ask for a better helper. He would lay in their bed and let the kittens snuggle up to him. I kept feeding them every other hour or so. Whenever they ate, they slept afterwards. When I would nap, I had a place for them in my desk drawer. When I was up and around, Chico would nap with them, to keep them warm.
Things got a lot easier when Bonnie got home. She took some of the pressure off, helping me feed them. She did a much better job at being mommy, than I did.
Chico acted everyday like it was his job to sheppard these kittens. They followed him around, he taught them how to play, he kept them clean. Well you know, clean for a boy cats purrspective. Eventually they got up to 8 weeks. Originally, I thought they were boys and named them Hughie, Dewey and Chewy Louie. After a short period, I got to wondering why they didn’t act like males, so I found out then that all three were girls. They grew up to be healthy, normal kittens and cats.
When they got 8 weeks old, they left to do what they do, make little girls happy. My kindle (a bunch of cats), is napping still, maybe if I’m quiet, I can do the same..