Our nest runneth over

Not too long ago Chuck and I were empty-nesters; our children had flown the coop years ago. We still have one barn cat who greets us every morning and requires nothing other than being fed twice a day and some cuddling. We have had our share of pets: dogs, cats–indoors and out, rabbits, goats, snakes, fish, etc. But after our last house cat was hit on the road two years ago, we had found that there was a freedom to not having the responsibility of house pets…freedom to leave home and not worry about when you are returning, freedom from vet bills, freedom from cleaning pet hair off the furniture, etc., etc. And then we succumbed to the loneliness of it all and decided to rehome a dog back in July. We adore our Monah, and she has certainly given us love and lots of laughs in return, and our nest seemed complete with a dog in it again. I’ve written about her frequently in the last three months…the flea infestation, the operation for a hematoma, and then what was most unexpected in an 8 and a half year old female dog–being in heat. This week’s news is a continuation of that saga.
Being in heat made Monah feel very maternal. She picked up a stuffed animal…a cardinal that chirps like the real thing…for the first time since we had had her, and she needed to cuddle with it. That birdsong was music to all of our ears. And then on one of those lovely autumn days when I was getting some needed garden cleanup out of the way, she found two kittens in the ivy under a spruce tree. Mama Monah tended to them, gave them baths, and soon I was feeding them in the barn. And then soon I was feeding them in the house because they were following us everywhere, even out onto the road, and we had to have a safe place for them. And that’s how our nest became full to overflowing again.
Kittens can be the most adorable, inquisitive, playful, entertaining…and the most annoying little creatures. Everything from a sunbeam to a newspaper on a table–heck, the table itself–to a vacuum cleaner cord coiling across the floor requires their attack of investigation. My houseplants may not survive their onslaught. What sharp little claws they have, and they use them to climb the screendoor, shrubbery, trees, furniture, and our legs. We have scars resulting from their curiosity and need for cuddling. And poor Monah. Her maternal instincts vanished along with her estrus, but she is now saddled by two little vixens who nip at her nose and ears and pounce upon her tail.
They are of a long-haired ancestry, very fluffy, hardly feral kittens. All that furriness on their tiny bums makes telling gender difficult. We think they are sisters. Coming up with pet names is always a difficult task, requiring observation of character, cleverness and an eye toward understanding the adults they will become. Presently these two little ones are Lacey and Pym, but should the nether regions develop differently, the names may have to change.
I guess I should also tell you that there is evidence of early genious. Pym is literate. The other night I was typing here at my computer when my son Drew called (with the report of our grandson Baylor’s hat trick in a soccer game that day). As I chatted away, Pym required some attention. She walked across the keyboard–typing out LOOK? I did!

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