When I started my giveaway on my Facebook page I asked you to share your favourite pet memory with me; a lot of you did reply and I loved reading all your stories – some were sad, most were loving and a few were even silly.
I think it’s time I shared mine with you.
I can’t really call this a “childhood memory” as I couldn’t have any pets growing up, being terribly allergic to them (or so the doctors said). I did end up having a pet later (who is still alive and well), but this memory isn’t about him (sorry, Squish.)
This memory is of me fostering a litter of five or six 48h-old kittens whose mum decided to leave them in a classroom overnight, and when people arrived she ran away and left her babies behind. It was impossible to reunite queen and litter again, so enter yours truly.
The little ones were very small, very fragile and 100% dependent on others. I had to make sure they were kept warm at all times, bottle feed them every two hours and (gasp) stimulate them to poo and pee after each meal.
As rewarding as it was to help the kittens, it was hard work and very time-consuming. I was in university then and had to attend classes, so this made my life a bit harder. I had to find an alternative.
Plan B came in the form of a nice gentleman who had a door factory and kept cats in his office and workspace. He had two queens, one already with kittens of her own and another very near birthing. I spoke with him and, after assuring him I wouldn’t just leave the kittens there and run off, I was allowed to take them to his office.
As it turned out, both females wanted to take care of kittens but there weren’t enough to go around at the time, with each of them always stealing kittens from each other; adding mine made things easier, it turns out…
So one day I was in the office, a cat on my lap purring contentedly, others minding their own business, a pile of money to my right (cheques, too) when one of the cats just looked at me and let out a very demanding “MEOW!” What was going on?
At the same moment, the owner of the factory appeared at the door, the cat spread her hind legs and out pops a kitten with a wet sound. The man looks at the scene, then looks at me, turns terribly pale and stammers something about having to leave right away. He didn’t even let me reply and disappeared.
So there I was, in an almost-stranger’s office, money at hand, a queen giving birth, having been left by a very queasy-looking man to my own device.
Nature is indeed wise, for in less than two minutes all the kittens were born, all the females gathered around the new mum to help her out by washing the little ones and eating the placenta (yuck.)
I loved watching all the commotion and cooperation between felines. They settled in beautifully after half an hour and the nice man managed to return as well, not before asking me through the door if it was over!