Pet Tales - #1 Luna
The story below will take you through the arrival of the first cat in our home, the four kittens she blessed us with and the things that they experienced.
In the fall of 1999, my mom and stepdad were doing some construction work on the house. The back of it had been essentially torn away to make room for new windows and doors, and to stop the cold air from coming in, a plastic sheet was hanging there as a shield.
Luna, a beautiful grey cat with eyes the color of the moon, wandered in right through, as though it were a habit of hers. We were sitting in front of the fireplace, and were surprised to suddenly find a feline basking in its warmth. Amused by this bold move, we let her be. As the days went by, she came around more and more often, until she quite simply lived with us. We fed her, groomed her, gave her a scratching post and acquired a kitty litter box.
One day, while having a casual conversation with our next-door neighbour, we found out she was his. He didn't need her back, however, as she had dropped a nest there, raised them, and then just left. She came from the house next to his, where she had done the same. Apparenly, this was her habit. And yet, she seemed relatively young. We planned to have her sterilized for her own good.
But she had other plans...
An unexpected present
Before we had the chance to take her to the vet, we discovered the matter was, for now at least, out of our hands: Luna was pregnant!
So we let her finish her pregnancy. As her belly grew bigger, she grew softer, sweeter. Before her pregnancy, she had been very fickle. Whenever we petted her, although she'd sometimes beg for it, she might suddenly and unexpectedly lunge out at us. And so this change in her was very welcome! She received all the love we could give her.
One warm June day in 2000, she was missing. We set out to look for her, and found her hidden behind the long thick curtains in a bedroom. But she wasn't alone! Four beautiful tiny little creatures lay there, still wet, while she was lovingly licking them clean.
What a beautiful sight! Immediately, we were in love with them. And immediately, we moved them to a much healthier, safer, and warm environment.
Luna proved to be a wonderful mother. She nursed them, stayed with them, protected them. One of the kittens was a little weaker than the others. She put him some distance from his siblings, but rather than let him die, which many cats would in fact do, she went to feed and cuddle him separately. Ofcourse we put him back with the others, but she kept moving him some distance away. Clearly, she knew something we didn't! But she kept him alive, and well fed!
And so the four kittens grew up healthy, well-nourished, and surrounded by love.
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When the kittens where approx. 6 months old, we scheduled an appointment with the vet to get them neutered/spayed, along with their mother.
We were just in time too! The vet told us Luna was carrying again - luckily we were very, very early. She performed the procedure and life carried on.
But living with your four adult children is no life for a free and solitary cat like Luna. Soon, she was spending more and more time away from us. Eventually she went to live with yet another neighbour. However, being that she now couldn't conceive anymore, this was to be her home for the rest of her life. We would often see her lying on the windowsill, looking outside, or sitting on a wall overseeing her children playing and living life. She was now truly at peace.
But for her children, life was just beginning...!
In a next installment, I will tell the story of her children: Felix, Sam, Afra and Kitty, who carried on after Luna had left, and who lived life to the fullest! There will be pictures.
Did you know?
- It is estimated there are approx. 95.6 million cats worldwide being kept as pets.
- 1 out of 3 households in the US has at least one cat.
- About 9 out of 10 domestic cats are neutered or spayed.
- On average, a household will have 2 cats.
- There are more female than male pet cats.
- Between 6 and 8 million cats are put in a shelter every year in the US alone!
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