Monday, August 18, 2008

Nursing the Baby

We had empty nest syndrome but did not know it until Mitchell’s friend adopted a kitten for us. I came home from work to find Kit and Renee talking to Kay, a little gray fluffy kitten bounding around the house. It didn’t take long to come up with a name, Mr. Hedley, his head and ears seemed so large for his little body.

The next day he was sneezing and sleeping a lot. Kay took him to the vet, we found out he was very sick. Dr. McCoy gave Hedley antibiotics and prescribed lots of bed rest. His short life had been tough so far. He was part of a litter left in a box outside the pound where all of his siblings died. Hedley was then neutered too early in life, poor thing. We gave him goat’s milk and wet cat food. He spent the next few days curled up on Kay’s chest sleeping. She held him and loved him, hoping he would be okay. After a week his fever broke and he seemed to be feeling much better. During his illness he lost his voice and it never came back as strong as it was.

Hedley’s body finally grew to match the size of his head and now he is a rambunctious teenager. As I look at my hand it is covered with small scratches. We play and wrestle a lot. My hand and foot bear the scars from his attacks. Kay doesn’t allow him to bite her and he knows it. While he is in full attack mode, both paws wrapped around my fist while biting and kicking with his back legs, she puts her hand in his face and he only smells her. I return my hand, full attack mode once again. At times he will stand on his hind legs and attack my calf, other times flipping on his back so his hands and feet a free to wrap around my foot, it tickles more than anything.

His favorite thing is a napkin or paper towel rolled into a ball. From a dead sleep he will wake to the sound of a paper towel wadding to be thrown. His favorite activity is fetching the napkin. While we sit in bed watching TV we throw the napkin; he dives off the bed and brings it back to us, over and over. After he tires, he lies against my legs and falls asleep. Sometimes we wake up with him between us fully laid out on his back. He loves to be near us.

Now when Kay is sick it is his turn to take care of her. He knows something is wrong with her and cuddles up close to keep her warm. The only time he lays on or against her is when she is in bed sick. He is laying with her today, taking care of her, sipping her water when she isn’t looking, gently touching her with his little paw as if to say “There, there, do you have a fever and chills, I will lay here and take care of you now. Thank you for loving me.”

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