First-time Mother

1989

I woke with childhood energy and awareness. I felt her soft paws land on the bed, walk between my feet, then stop at my knees. I looked down towards her and from her mouth she dropped a soft bundle on my Beauty and the Beast-themed blanket. The tiny body was warm in the bright Spring morning light that shone through the single window in my bedroom. The house was quiet and peaceful. I didn’t want to startle Tabby, so I slowly pulled myself up and examined the tiny squirming kitten. Tabby watched for just a second, then jumped off the bed and ran out of my bedroom. She ran with the focus of a new mother. I sat with the small squirming kitten and waited patiently. Six more times Tabby came back, each time with a different-colored kitten. I knew Tabby was half-calico, so I wasn’t surprised at the rainbow-like patterns in the kittens’ fur. I marveled at their tiny pink toes, and soft searching noses. I had made a bed for Tabby in the corner of my closet in anticipation of the arrival of kittens, but she decided to give birth somewhere else; a secret location. I had watched her belly grow, and counted her nipples. I found 7, and it was from that I determined she would have 7 kittens. I was so happy to see her again, I had missed her warm, soft purrs last night as I drifted off to sleep. I watched as she sniffed and adjusted all their bodies. Then she laid down half next-to and half surrounding them. I waited until Tabby fell asleep, crept out of the room, then silently ran across the house to wake Mom.

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