Monday, 22 April 2013

You Cat to Be Kitten Meow! Part II: Eyes Widely Shut

When I was nearly ten days old my eyes began to open. At first only tiny slits of blue on my soft fury face. The more mommy washed my face the wider the openings became, till they were fully open. I couldn't see more than light and shadows, but it was better than orienting myself by the sound, the warmth of my siblings or the smell of milk.
On the day when my left eye was nearly fully open something unusual happened. We heard loud bangs and other horrifying noises at the window near the porch where we slept in the basket. Harsh whispering human voices and heavy booted footsteps hurrying around. Our human family never behaves like that. Their children make noises, at times very loud ones, but their voices are cheerful, full of laughter. The voices we were hearing now were bad, I can't explain how we knew it, but we knew something was wrong. Our mommy covered all of her babies with her body and was meowing quietly, but nervously, warning the strangers not to come any closer. I was petrified with fear and squeezed my eyes shut. When the heavy booted steps ceased running through the house and the noises came back to the broken window, a new sound added to it - the strangers were dragging a heavy bag, full of our humans' possessions. They were thieves! I was glad no one put me in that bag, I stayed where I was and our mother kept hovering over us long after the menacing strangers were gone. I heard the human mother cry a lot that day, she was keeping her children near at all times, just like our mommy did.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Volatile state of marriage

Today I had to go and wait in a rather long queue in a municipal office to obtain a copy of my marriage certificate, or as Italians call it "stato di matrimonio", the state of marriage. Everything sounds better in Italian, doesn't it? In the printed form one has to fill when applying for the certificate one must state the purpose for which the certificate will be used. Most of people in the queue before me were applying for the certificate in order to get a divorce, as I couldn't avoid finding out from the office employee who was routinely checking the correctness of each filled form in a carrying voice.
I don't know what hit me. The thought that the same two people who now want to be free from any bonds with each other just a few years ago wanted nothing but to grow old together, to close an eye on imperfections of each other, to support and to carry on carrying on. Also the fact that three out of five marriages end up in divorce. The fact that there are so many people who after divorce have to reinvent themselves and their social life accordingly, to search for comfort and support elsewhere, or to cry themselves into sleep every night because they keep failing at finding it and start losing faith. The fact that it's easier to leave than to be left behind. I've seen it all among my friends.
I also felt thankful (to myself?) that I haven't given up on the man who drives me bonkers more often than not, who at first sight doesn't seem to be willing to apply himself to make me happy, but is unhappy if I search for things that make me happy if it doesn't go along his daily routine. I want to adopt a dog, he doesn't. I'm not a cat person, yet I've ended up with dozens of cats he adopted over last decade. I am blabbermouth, he's the biggest introvert I've ever met. We're a living proof that opposites attract.
Just like pain threshold is different for each person, I suppose incompatibility tolerance level is different for each of us. Someone wouldn't tolerate things I've compromised, someone else tolerates much more than me and doesn't even wince. There is no moral to this story, just the fact that I keep chewing on it - why people stay together no matter what? And why others don't?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

You cat to be kitten meow! Part I: Birth

Mommy? Mommy, where are you? What are these dry grains of sand around me? I can't see. What is this large furless animal lifting me from dust and putting me under something wet? Am I going back into you, mommy? Oh, I wish I could go back there, stay with you safe and happy...
It turns out those were hands of the human mother that lifted me out of the litter sand, where my mommy had foolishly dropped me when her labour pains caught her unprepared. Oh, silly mommy! She was so inexperienced, we were her first kittens, her first litter. In the moment of panic, under the siege of unrecognised pains, she sought refuge in the place where no one could hurt her - her closed litter box. Thus, ironically, she dropped the first kitten of her first litter into the litter box. Then helpful hands picked me up and washed off the sand under warm tap water, only to give me back to my mommy, for her to finish cleaning me. Mind it, I still had the sac attached. She had to bite it off and eat it, as all feline mothers do. It was a distressful moment, I was wet, and cold, and then a new feeling kicked in. Hunger. The feeling that moves the whole animal planet around, makes us change locations and hunt, or for the luckiest of us, it means we have to whine for food and make friends with the humans. They are kind, most of them. Look how they helped my mommy when she didn't know what was happening to her and me.
Three more kittens followed me into this world, all looking  more like tiny rodents than felines. To an untrained eye we might look like four white mice with pink extremities and nearly bare tails, bearing no obvious resemblance with our beautiful mommy, royal in her posture and adorable in her shades of beige and brown, darker at the tips of her paws, tail and her nose, always kept slightly upwards. Our mommy is posh, she's a pure breed Siamese. The humans say her eyes are violet blue like those of Elizabeth Taylor, but I have no idea who that Taylor cat is. She must be really beautiful if she's anything like my mommy. 
The humans we now live with adopted her from other humans, who didn't want her anymore, they said it's either adoption or cat pound. So we've been lucky.
My siblings and I don't even sound like our mommy yet, not even like the little mice that we resemble at the moment. My voice is more like that of a hungry chirping birdie. How will  my mommy know that I'm her baby? Will she recognise and feed me? But I guess mommies always know.