for the past 12 weeks we've had twinkle, the stray kitty living in our yard. brooke fell truly, madly, deeply in love with having both an inside & an outside cat. she loved that twinkle would follow her around & come when she called & join her on her forays into the woods. brooke spent more time in our weird yard than she ever has before and didn't even beg me to come out with her. she didn't need me because she had twinkie for companionship.
five weeks ago twinkle gave birth to 4 healthy, squirmy babies while we watched over her and encouraged her. she's been a great kitty mom & has kept all of them healthy & safe with no close calls or incidents that i know of. i really didn't expect that a stray cat who's not much more than a baby herself, and living outside would do as well as she has with her brood. i've spent a lot of time over the past 5 weeks each day going out to feed twink and to play with & snuggle those babies. i pretend that i do it for brooke, but i really do it because i love it. i even go out after brooke goes to bed at night. i like to check them a couple times every night to be sure a raccoon hasn't carted one off or they haven't escaped & been made into road pizza. i can't tell you how many mornings i've been out front in my pajamas checking on everyone & doing head counts while feeding a hungry mommy cat.
and all this time i've been thinking about whether or not we should bring one into the house when they were old enough. i talked about it with chris & my landlord & my friends & family. i probably talked and thought about it more than i really needed to, but i couldn't help myself. i just love the cats. i've never rescued a stray before. i never got to witness the birth of anything before. maybe that's why i've loved them so. i think this has been as much fun for me as it has been for brooke & i do believe i'm going to cry as hard as she does when the kitty babies go to their new homes. they're only a week away from the recommended date for when they can be homed, so i decided that it was time to take brooke's favorite kitten to the vet today for a checkup. i wanted to make sure she didn't have feline leukemia that could be shared with our indoor cat, sophie.
we took nim this afternoon & she tested clear for all the yuck except for ear mites & i expected her to have those since her momma does. they poked & stuck & weighed & prodded & jammed & examined about every inch of her, much to baby nim's dismay. brooke had to leave the room because she couldn't bear to see and hear her baby suffering. she happily romped in the waiting room w/ a schnauzer puppy while i listened to the baby's cries. the vet then told us that since nim's already eating solid food, i shouldn't let her back outside with her family because she'll pick the bugs right back up again. i wasn't expecting that, but it was a pleasant surprise. i'm actually relieved that i don't have to worry anymore about nim getting squished or eaten before she's old enough to come inside.
nim walked into the house uninvited a few days ago when i was giving all the babies some free time on the stoop & i let her stay in long enough to meet sophie. i won't say sophie was signing up to be the leader of her fan club, but she didn't put the smack down on her either, so i considered it a victory.
i've been letting her come in once in a while over the past week just to help her acclimate to being inside & she really seems to like it. her siblings seem lost & scared when they've come in, so i'm glad we chose the one we did. she lets brooke hold her on her back & just gazes up into her face like she's seeing her true love. she's a very sleepy girl & can't take much romping before she's falling asleep in a fluffy little ball of adorable-ness.
from brooke's perspective, this has been just about her best day ever. however, from mine, it's left something to be desired. i'm trying to keep my hands off the baby when brooke is around so that they can bond, but that baby apparently got the runs from all the butt digging she suffered through at the vet today & she's still so young that she's not good at the litter box etiquette. she cries when she poops & then stomps right into it & swings her tail so that i have to scrub her whole back half down while she screams & claws me. i had to do this 3 times today as well as cleaning up 3 piles of puke. i'm really ready for her to learn some litter skills & get her stomach settled so i can turn over the clean up to her.
this evening brooke went to vbs & chris & i were able to go out to dinner alone, which is always a really nice treat. on the way there i realized that i had poop smears in a few places around the front of my shirt & i had a faint odor of crap hanging around me. i called a friend while driving to pick up chris to ask if i should just leave it alone & hope it went unnoticed or maybe turn my shirt inside out. that would mean the poo was flush up against my skin, but at least it wouldn't show & maybe the smell would decrease temporarily. she suggested that i should try to use some water & a napkin & scrub it off, but i was afraid that would draw even more attention to the area & i didn't really want to be going out to eat w/ my hubby w/ a big wet spot with rolled up napkin bits stuck to it on my boobs. there really was no good choice, so i decided that the least offensive of the bad options was to just leave it alone & hope chris didn't notice. he didn't. or maybe he was just too kind to mention it during dinner.
now my two little girlies are tucked in & both sleeping, maybe dreaming of each other. all in all, it's been a wonderful, eventful day & i hope that tomorrow will include contact with far fewer bodily fluids as we adjust to life with a new kitten.