by Adia Kilpatrick
LoyalroyaL British Shorthairs

Published July 2004

Part Three of Adia Kilpatrick continued story of her first litter of kittens. Don't forget to read the other articles in this series, Grace's First Litter and Grace's Litter Takes Their First Steps

Lately, for unfathomable reasons, I awaken at ungodly hours and tiptoe to the nursery. Mindful that infant eyes are sensitive to light, I stand in darkness by the cradle of my babies, listening.

I need not see to know they are nursing, for I hear the ardent purring of a blissful queen.
I savor the sound awhile, then cannot resist extending my hand into the cage. It lands on a squirmy, warm softness. My fingers enwrap a handful of it and bring it up against my chest, inches from a melting heart. My cheek gently falls on it. My ear discerns its tiny breath seconds before being blown away by a piercing meow.

I try to shhhhush it with petting, but almost immediately its cries are echoed by a sibling choir. Quickly I replace it, and the solo purr resumes.

I retuck myself, slap the alarm off an hour later, and gaze goodbye at the snoozing fur pile before racing off to work. Race home hours later to gaze hello at the sleeping fur pile.

Cuddle the queen, then start the daily weighing routine. Set digital scale on counter and note how size of microwave dishes placed on it has increased to hold babies. Write date and "red, yel, blu, grn and pur" on notepad - a color name to match the nail polish on each baby's back foot. Elated to see more fractions of ounces gained.

After recording each baby's weight, I lift the tail and hope this will be the day I recognize what sex it is. Still anus and blur! I rub a moistened cotton ball over the baby's privates to give the queen a break.

I hold the baby against me a few minutes, gently stroking its back. It drags itself upward on me. As I lift the baby away, threads from my good blouse go with it!

With one hand holding baby, I unsnag myself from its microclaws. The admonishing look I cast on this kitten gets caught on its face! Only yesterday its eyes were asymmetrical blue blobs, but now I'm looking into two fully open circles ... and a jolt of joy strikes me as I realize a purrsonality is looking back!!




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