Only Just Begun

Only Just Begun
By Jennifer Kiley
Photographs & Video
by Shawn MacKenzie
9.25.12

Gatsby (Mom) R to L-Carter-Parker-Poe

Each time I physically and emotionally interact with our three new kittens, Carter (Ginger with white blaze and mittens), Poe (all Ginger) and Parker (Black with a touch of White on his tummy), how our relationships all grow differently but always closer and more intimate. There is such an acknowledgement of more trust and love. When they were barely a few days old, I was able to hold them on my chest as they slept for hours.

My first experience being a solo babysitter gave me trepidation and I was rightly cautious. When I left them snuggling in their box with their mom Gatsby, on the bed of the downstairs bedroom, I stepped out of the room for 30 seconds to stir my pasta and sauce, when I returned, they were all gone. Disappeared. Now earlier, I kept having to stop their mom, Gatsby, from trying to take them out of their box, where they were sleeping comfortably.

I went from room to room and listened for their sound. Nothing. Time to panic. Texted Shawn, my s/o, stating: kittens have vanished. please when writers’ group is over come home immediately. do not be alarmed. kittens gone. Of course, she told me later she heard the text beep on her cell but didn’t look or respond, then forgot all about. I tried not to lecture her, like saying that is what a cell is for, emergencies. The kids were missing.

Anyway, the search began. I turned every sound off in the house and just stood silently and listened. No sight of Gatsby and not one meow from the wee ones. Then, out of nowhere, literally, I heard a slight noise. Where it was coming from wasn’t clear at first but I followed it. Finally, I discovered their mother. She had hidden the three kittens behind my living room reclining chair. Impossible to reach behind it. I tried reaching them but couldn’t stretch my arms that far. I needed to do something. It was not a safe place for them. Without hurting then, I retrieved them quite slowly with the use of the handle of a cane, sliding them one by one slowly across the carpet floor behind the chair. After I had all three of them in my hands, I carried them around with me, cupped in one hand, while I finished making my pasta dinner with my own red sauce recipe. Now that was a feat but accomplished with great success, but there was one problem, the eating had to be postponed. One cannot twirl pasta with one hand.

All the time we waited, I am trying to explain to their mother, Gatsby, that I was only holding onto them until their other mother got home. She would recreate the space behind my chair and make it safe for all of them. Gatsby wasn’t so sure about my plans but she eventually crawled into my lap, also, and lay down and nursed them on and off as we waited.

My idea was to get a deeper box where mom could come and go but the kittens weren’t in any danger of escaping before the time was right. That would be when they were older and could see, crawl and at least be walking a bit first.

Shawn returned home, finally, and I related the story to her. She thought it was hysterical. I wasn’t laughing at first but eventually I saw the humour and got her point. She was able to create a great space for them where mom had taken them on my first solo babysitting night. Only one entrance and exit, both the same. We could watch them being safe and cared for. We would take them out fairly often just to be sure they had a great deal of human contact. I just melted when they would snuggle up under my chin all sound asleep. So little and sweet as anything that young. This time in their life was so nurturing for all of us.

Sometimes, I didn’t want to share. The same sometimes as their mother Gatsby didn’t. And when it was time for them to return to their safe place and snuggle in for the night with their mom it was difficult to let them go. I loved holding them and loving them so much.

These are moments you only have for short times and at first my s/o wanted to give all but one away but their sweet little hearts and my constantly repeating my mantra, “we can’t give any of them away., they are all too precious.” It turned out I was more right then she was willing to admit at first. But she fell just as hard. And we both love them so intensely, neither of us could possibly imagine being without any one of them. There they were our Poe, Parker and Carter. Carter being the most unique because he actually is quite the kitten and shall become quite the cat someday. He’s got a touch of Einstein and Stephen Hawking in him. He is quite the genius in figuring out how to solve a problem beyond his physical abilities and manages to accomplish the feat before him in the most imaginative ways possible.

Poe and Parker are also quite special and have looked out for their baby brother Carter since he took his first step. They all love each other and us so much. And our bigger cats are finally all coming around to the idea that these little guys are so cool and just could be fun to get close to someday. Soon. Only the beginning of the fun. J.K.

© Jennifer Kiley 2012

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEXBtjDOPHQ&w=670&h=407]
Carterlion-Created by Shawn MacKenzie

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLQOEWZLdwg&w=670&h=407]
Only Love-Created by Shawn MacKenzie

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJmgqVqC89o&w=670&h=407]
When I’m 64-Creating by Shawn MacKenzie

3 thoughts on “Only Just Begun

  1. You know it is instinct for a mother cat to move her kittens about three times during the first couple of weeks. She is trying to ward off the male cat from smelling her little infants for fear that he will kill them. I recall some of my cats finding the most inappropriate places sometimes lol. They are beautiful by the way, and I applaud you for giving them a nice safe home where they are much loved 😉

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    • We actually thought we were taking in a stray kitten that had been thrown over a fence of someone we knew. Maybe about 4 1/2 mos old. We took her to the vets the next week and were informed she was quite pregnant but at that point not showing. So my s/o thought she was bringing me home the present of a new kitten and instead SURPRISE!. It turned out to be the best surprise. Poe, Parker and Carter are the most wonderful kids in the whole world. Love them so much. No unneutered male cats in our household but our largest male cat took on protecting her and being a big brother and surrogate pop to them. I do know about those unneutered males unfortunaely from experience in childhood. Not Good. Thank you for your response. Didn’t think we would have this many kitties again. It is quite busy sometimes and at others you wouldn’t even know there was a cat in our house. 😉 J.K.

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