There’s pretty much nothing sub-stellar about kittens.
Well…maybe there’s one wretched exception: they are so blasted fragile. As the always-honest Dr. C told me a few years ago, it’s rare to have a kitten season where you don’t “lose some.”
Not okay, saith me. Some = too many. One = too many. But I don’t get to saith the last say. And so we were soon, sadly down to the awesome eighteen. Sweet Pfefferneuse, baby Badger…how grateful we are we had the chance to love you…
But you can’t stay sad for long when there are eighteen itty-bits to cherish. The Cheeses have a whiz of a mom, and are thriving in Gorgonzola’s capable paws. The Persians are being fostered by Ginny, and they’re old enough to eat real food (though their “neatness” score is on a par with any frat boy). After losing Badger moments after birth (by no fault of her own), Bunny redoubled her efforts to win “Mother of the Year” by loving Squirrel, Mouse and Chipmunk with all her might.
And that’s where things get pretty sacred. I don’t use that word lightly – what happened next was nothing short of a miracle.
The orphan cookies were at risk of crumbling without a mama. Although they were roughly a week older than Bunny’s babies, Macaroon, Biscotti and Snickerdoodle were a good deal smaller. If there were a school for kitten development, these sweeties would be left back a grade or two. As Karina, their first foster mom, gently put it, the cookies were “a little slow.” Nothing wrong with that – the “slow food movement” is uber-trendy anyway, so who doesn’t want slow cookies?
But these babies needed a nudge – and a mom. Gorgonzola already had her paws full with four high-energy cheeses. Might Bunny accept three adoptees as her own?
It was a risk. Mama cats don’t always accept babies they haven’t birthed – or, in rare cases (cough, Brittany, cough), even those they have.
But Bunny was ready for the challenge. This is a mama of miracles. And so, in a quiet, dedicated way, our newest mom made room at the table for three more mini-mouths. Within hours, Bunny – and her own newborns – had enfolded Macaroon, Biscotti and Snickerdoodle in love. I dare say she’s learned from the Best about forming family around the widow and the orphan.
Some days, life at Tabby’s Place is something of a parable, with the cats drawing back the veil onto the heart of their Maker.
I suspect the seventeen – and their miracle moms – aren’t done with their lessons in love. Who can tell what late spring and summer may bring for our littlest angels?
Postscript: Alas for late-breaking sad news. We just lost Biscotti , and testing revealed that she had a highly contagious virus. It’s likely her sweet siblings, Macaroon and Snickerdoodle, are also affected. And so, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to separate them from their new “mom” and siblings, just in case. Karina will again be fostering the cookie kids, so please rest assured that they will be well-cherished. I will keep you posted here.