Friday, November 11, 2011

Spooky, the Babysitting Cat

My sister owned a gray, female cat.  Her cat ran across the floor with her head facing one direction and her body another. It was similar to the old Halloween candy wrappers with the black cat hence the name “Spooky.” Spooky was truly a loving and tender cat.  She slept in my room quite often and enjoyed sitting on my books when I was reading them.   Oh, the beauty of having a feline companion.  
It was the winter of 1993-94; both Spooky and I were pregnant.  Of course I was near my third trimester when we found out she was having a litter of her own.  I’m using the phrase “litter of her own” because I was pregnant with twins.  I remember days when we both looked at each other and sighed.  Some nights, she would meow at me and try to take over my bed. 
One evening, she wasn’t sleeping very well.  She couldn’t settle down and I was so tired that I just passed out.  Later during the night, she was in labour under my bed.  The sound of a screeching cat under your head was not easy to sleep through.  I moved my bed but she hissed at me.  She didn’t want anyone to touch her or get close.  I looked down at her from above.  It was an experience I will not forget, because at that moment I didn’t want to have my twins.  The sounds that Spooky made was very stressful.  Ohhh, with a deep breath and I’m going to be next. 
I wasn’t the best coach as I found myself dozing off between each kitten.  She delivered 4 tiny kittens.  Each one of them made their blind way to her as she cleaned and nursed them.  She was a wonderful mommy.   Spooky kept them under my bed for quite some time.  She didn’t want them to go far from that area.  Unfortunately for me I had to clean up after them.  I was not impressed because being pregnant and moving furniture was not an easy task.
A week later Spooky took them down stairs to the living room.  She felt comfortable having people around them.  If I was in the living room and she wanted to eat, she thought it was okay to pick up her small kittens and place them on my pregnant belly.  She knew it was hard for me to get up so, I became the kitten sitter.
These kittens roamed around my large belly and somehow found a comfortable spot to sleep.  This happened often as Spooky was taking advantage of my condition.  She wanted to have a safe, warm, and non-moving place for her babies so that she could go outside or sleep.  To be honest, I actually loved it.  These kittens felt my boys moving and they chased a baby’s foot or elbow.  They were very gentle with me.
Another few weeks passed and my sister informed me it was time to give away the kittens.  It took awhile for us to find homes for them. Each time my sister gave one away a kitten, Spooky searched the house looking for her missing baby.  It was heartbreaking to watch her go through this. Spooky looked at me as if I did something to them.  I told her, "they were getting too big, they went to new homes. I'm sorry. I swear, Spooky, I didn’t do it.”
It was my turn to give birth.  My twins’ delivery was hard on my body (that is a story of its own).   When I returned from the hospital with my babies, Spooky was always by my side.  She watched as I nursed and cleaned them.  She would alert me to their every need.
I remember one day when I was exhausted from the night before.  I left my boys upstairs in their cribs asleep and I went to stretch out on the couch.  It was nice to have that alone time to snooze by myself because my twins slept in my room.  The baby monitor was by my head so I could still hear them if they needed me.
Approximately, 20 minutes of interrupted sleeping, I heard sounds coming from the monitor.  They were not crying but moving.  I was not jumping up quite yet.  Well, Spooky heard the sounds and ran up the stairs.  I heard her meowing through the monitor.  She was surely going to wake them up. The boys started to get restless.  Spooky ran down the stairs and stared at me then up toward the stairs.  “Really, Spooky, I’m tired,” I said to her.
She ran upstairs and my boys started to cry.  Spooky was panicking and ran down the stairs again.   This time she meowed loudly and was determined that I tend to my children.  I picked up my tired butt. Spooky was only one step ahead as I ascended the stairs.  She looked at me and meowed expecting me to go faster. 
Once I arrived, they were fine.  They just wanted to be held.  “See, Spooky!”  I scolded her.  She watched me very careful as I took each child down stairs to their bassinets.  She watched as I put Andre down and walked up stairs to get Damian.  She stayed with Andre and licked his forehead.  Andre was calm when I made it down with Damian. 
Spooky always jumped to their every need.  She was the best babysitting cat, a person could ask for. Until they were able to move and pull at her tail that when she watched them from afar.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story Naomi... thank you so much for sharing. Hugs and kisses ... Ray