April 28, 2008

A year ago we got a baby kitten and named her Bramble. I wanted to name her Amphora because the children where making Egyptian amphoras in their art/history class. But no, Bramble is our kitty's name. She is a very good kitty. (And she has provided some of my favorite photo ops.)
I wanted a cat (and had to frame this as homeschool.) Let me rephrase. I wanted to get a kitten to give the children experience raising a baby. That really worked. It felt A LOT like raising a baby. It was frustrating. We were required to put Bramble's needs first. We had to do a whole bunch of feeding and cleaning and tending and giving love even when we felt we'd rather not. The rewards have been big. Bramble has been well and lovingly tended and she is well and loving.
I wanted more kittens (and had to frame this as homeschool.) Let me rephrase. I got Bramble, not only to give the kids experience raising a baby. But so that she could get pregnant herself and have some kittens and teach the children about birth. Come to think of it, Amphora, would have been a pretty good name for this cat, since I have planned to use her as a vessel all along.

Last night about 9:00 Ry appeared at the top of the stairs. "Bramble is in my bed and something white is hanging out of her butt and I am scared." All of those hours of love and rides in the baby carriage and gentle pats really paid off for Ry last night. I wanted the kids to encounter birth. I never dreamed they would actually get to watch. Bramble needed (like all laboring mothers) a place she felt safe with those she trusted most. She chose Ry's bed. And last night, for about six hours, she had those kittens and my children got to watch. It was magical. It was very real. It was bloody and there was tons of amniotic fluid everywhere. Bramble had to work hard. She yowled with the first kitten. She panted. She purred. She contracted. She expanded. She ate the after birth. She licked and nursed. And my kids got to see it all.

Please don't come tell me about PETA. I promise I will find them responsible homes and I will have Bramble fixed in two months. I know why those things are important. But I also know that kids these days are too sheltered from real life. Real Life. And there is one adorable and fierce purring puddle of real life happening in my daughter's bed Right Now.


Anonymous said...

This is the coolest thing! A couple years ago we took in a stray kitten. We let her have babies...twice!! The first time she had them on our front porch while we watched! What a good mommy she was! WE have them all to good homes...the second litter caught us by surprise...good homes there too. Before we moved we gave this mommy to a farm who desperately needed a brood of good mousers. She had two more litters and they fixed her and she and her brood are making good farm cats. She was made for motherhood...she loved those kittens!! OH, this has brought back such wonderful memories. I wanna do it again. Is that wrong??

Katherine said...

No, its not wrong at all, if you ask me. More Kittens For The World! : )

Actually, I am secretly counting on Regularmom taking one (or two.) How cool would that be? We could keep our cats in blog-touch with updated pictures and little kitty essays. Hum, maybe I could start a blog contest and the winner gets a kitten! I've already decided that my house now comes with a free kitten - that goes without saying.

Mommylion said...

Oh, one of my first very clear memories was of watching kittens being born! This post brought that whole time back and the whole wonder of childhood feelings as well.

Anonymous said...

Bramble is adorable, and I bet she will be a wonderful kittymommy. Enjoy your new household additions!

MOM #1 said...

The kittens are beautiful and that really is a great lesson that kids can only learn from experiencing it themselves. Wow!