Saturday, February 2, 2008

Naming the twins


Satisfied there were no more kittens in the grass nest Sassy had made for her babies, one that had kept her babies dry during the rainy spell most effectively (you could not help but be greatly impressed), Christen and I carried the babies inside. We got plenty of towels to dry them and to warm them. They were so tiny, and just a-mewing!

First things first. A box. Newspaper for lining. Sassy. We had to find Sassy to nurse her babies. In the men-time..... gender? Being this small, with more growing to do, it was hard to tell specifically. The one clinging to Christen did not appear to have any white on her, mainly just tan and black, so that, to me ruled out calico, and the 99% female. Genitalia was inconclusive at that point, so, because of the clinging, Velcro action, we temorarily claimed *it* a *he* with the name of Velcro, which could fit either sex later after further, ahem, development.

Now, the poor little thing that I stepped on. Will I *ever* get over stepping on a tiny kitten that its mother had been successful in keeping alive throughout that rainy spell, and in all likelihood, these were her only two of the litter knowing of her past pregnancies. This kitten was equally difficult to determine the sex, but there were *some* signs pointing to possibly being a calico. The naming gurus we were, we came up with the all-outstanding name of Callie..... oh, can you guess that under *my* leadership ::::cough:::: I presumed her to be a lady.

It was not difficult to locate Mommy Sassy. She was beautiful.... black and white, very large, but not muscular heavy. If that is not a proper term, I just made it up, because she was large, but not heavy, and just hung from your arms whenever she was held. She had a great big bushy tail. After getting her back into the house (she was used to inside and out..... her preference..... we already had one cat, Precious who was Ashley's cat) we put her over with the kittens, and all the towels, blankets, and whatever was gathered together for the special new family members (did I hear *anyone* say anything about them *not* staying with us?). Oh, the homecoming! The little squirmers couldn't walk, but boy, could they wiggle, waggle to mommy's tummy. Once there, however, Callie kept rooting *Velcro* out of the way, and oh, the pushing and shoving between two little baby kittens, both wanting the same teat. Over the next couple of hours of watching Sassy and her babies, it was clear that it pained her considerably whenever they attempted to nurse, and the babies were not being satisfied with any nourishment from her. Conclusion. She only had one *working* teat, and it appeared to be almost dried.

That called for a trip to Wal-Mart. Emergency baby supplies were needed right away! Infant feeding supplies. Nothing could pump up the adrenaline more in me than caring for a baby, human or animal, though I have to admit, it has been many, many years since I've nurtured a baby animal, the one coming to memory right now was the cat delivery in Altus, Okalahoma, when the mama cat chose beneath our bed for her delivery room! I had to crawl to the middle of the bed to get the kittens out from under there, and into a nice clean bed for them and mama. Oh, life's wonderful experiences..... my first delivery, and with two little boys watching the whole show!

Back home from Wal-Mart, I gathered everything together, Christen and I getting down in the middle of the living room floor where there was plenty of room. First on the agenda..... kitten milk. Oh, my! Forget those plastic little bottles like the ones that come in doll toys. At least when they are that small. I did all kinds of things to it, and finally started squeezing the milk into their mouths. One reason it did not work for them, was that they were starving! I couldn't squeeze it into their mouths fast enough! Both kittens could fit between my fingers of my left hand, and I would slip the nipple from one to the other, to give them some satisfaction alternatively. Callie ate like a pig. She had milk all over her face, and if I'm ever able to confiscate my pictures from my other computer, I'll be able to show you just how she put her paws up on the bottle, and went after that milk, getting it all over her, and me. It was necessary for me to stop a feeding because they would have kept on eating as long as the bottle was put into their mouths..... especially Callie. *Velcro* was nicer about the whole thing.

After their feedings, I took them to the sink and bathed them as nearly like their mommy as I could, being a human and all. No licking them, but I would rub their little faces with my cheeks where their mamas would normally lick theirs.

Later that afternoon, Debbie came to see the new family or addition to our family, whichever is appropriate. All of us *girls* in the family cannot say "no" to an animal, dog or cat, we're pushovers. Not sure who *draws the line* and shows a bit of common sense when needed. Jim doesn't even try; he feels a bit outnumbered!

The three of us sat with our legs spread out, feet touching to making an impromptu fence, because though they could not walk, they sure could scoot on their *fall, get up, try another leg, fall get up, over, and over..... LOL). Debbie and I used this time to check them out a bit further, and I am not sure now, if this was the time, but we finally came to the conclusion that they were both females, and we did not like *Velcro* for the one name, changing it to Missie. That was nearly five years ago, and a few of the details have escaped me, as to when we changed her named from Velcro to Missie, but it was done, and that is all that was important.

As the kittens grew, we noticed certain personalities about them. Making them proper Southern ladies, though we still referred to them as our babies, we went about giving them middle names: Missie Nicole, named after Christen; Callie Elizabeth, named after Ashley. These are also the middle names of Christen and Ashley. Ironically, the names have fit each baby.

These two have been near and dear to my heart, after all we went through together, including middle of the night feedings. There was one weekend when Missie Nicole should have died of some kind of kitten disease, but I stayed up with her constantly, helping her with her vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness for those two to three days. I went to the Internet to find out what could be wrong with her, and what to do for her until the vet's office would be open on Monday. I have loved her as I would a little child, especially after all we went through that weekend. I had never bonded with an animal like that before in my life.

I bonded with Callie in a different kind of way. I had some overall shorts that I wore around the house, especially when I was sitting at the computer. My little Callie would get up in my lap, then, with little short, stubbly legs, head straight for the pocket in the bib to my overalls, and tuck herself right in there. I could get up and walk around, and she would stay right there, where she was; we would snuggle, and rub noses together. Callie was good at learning new tricks to do, a good entertainer.

They are not as close to me any longer, and I miss their companionship so much. I've been entertaining thoughts of getting a little kitten just for myself, for up here on my bed with me. Dunno. Just thoughts. Others do not understand my need for a companion that is mine. Just mine.

There you have it. There are two other cats that I'll cover another time, but these needed to be handled together, separately from the others, since they are the twins, the babies, the special ones. Their antics keep us entertained constantly. It is hard to keep from going into their behaviors, so it is best to end this now.

Striving for a world without Myasthenia Gravis

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