Happy New Year!
We are so thrilled to announce that we have adopted a one year old tabby named Kitty (or as Kitten likes to call her, Cutie).
She is a dead ringer for Boy but also looks like herself in many ways. Her personality is totally different though. She loves being petted and held. A record 15 minutes!
What a joy it is to have her in our family.
I’ve been down with some food-hating bug and probably guilty of throwing my own pity party.
A friend of mine posted a kind note over at
His death was something I’d been dreading for years but even when it came so unexpectedly, I was not prepared.
I have never loved another cat like him. He was like my own child. I wish for so much more than just 17 years with him. But all I will have are the memories we shared and the wonderful unconditional love that only a cat can give me.
So it came to pass one fine sunny Sunday when I decided it was time for me to try reintegrating the cats again. This time with plenty of positive reinforcement.
First, Wolf, Kitten, and I sat down and hand fed the kids some treats. We petted them and talked to them. Buffy stared at us rather confused. I felt sad.
Tux ate most of the treats as usual and the younger 2 merely peered out. The older 3 explored the kitchen.
Later, Kitten and I said bye to the boys and we went to the bedroom as Buffy followed us expectantly. She jumped onto the stair ledge as she always did and Tux lounged along the stairs.
We went outside to look for the other 2. Sam scuttled to look for Buffy and Tux while we found Kaku lounging on her table in the cat room, probably pleased to have the place all to herself.
To my greatest delight and surprise, she meowed at me and let me stroke her just like before.
She never forgot our bond – she still hisses at daddy and only I have been ever allowed to pet her. I felt so sad and sorry that we’d wasted all this time due to my old complacency and fear of being unable to cope… But here were we.
The sweet girl even rolled around inviting me to pet her and she allowed me to groom her for a good ten minutes then stood up. Buffy had come in.
I realised then Kaku would have been a perfect only cat, just like Boy. Indeed I adore her because she is so much like him, a female him, both perfect. It was love at first sight when I first saw her too.
So we spent the afternoon together. Tux, Buffy, and Sam tried repeatedly to climb onto the bed and get into the closet but was repeatedly foiled by me. They settled for under the bed as compensation.
Kaku wandered as far as the couch where she sat on the couch head, so like Boy. I tried getting close to snap a photo but she hissed and jumped off. Other cats were about.
Buffy watched as I attempted to doze beside a playful Kitten but failed. Tux lay on the floor. Earlier he and Sam played hide under the rug. I nudged him and he ran like a bat out of hell.
Finally it was dinner time and their daddy fed them and ushered them all back to their room.
It wasn’t till the children were asleep and I was in the kitchen that I realised Kaku was still inside. She’d been lying on the same spot on the couch and hissed at me to get my attention.
I duly opened the grille door and indicated for her to go out and she did. Just as Buffy was trying to slip in unnoticed.
The strangest thing. I was in the kitchen fixing supper after the children had fallen asleep when I heard a meow from outside the door. It was Kaku calling me!
Kaku is my shyest sweetest girl and since the kids moved to the cat room I hardly played with her.
Gone were our late night petting sessions in the bathroom when she deemed me not so scary anymore. Only time she had me all to herself.
Even when I used to feed them before I got pregnant with Kitten, I’d be the only one allowed to pet her.
I miss her, my scared shy baby. But hubby says to wait till Kitten is older before letting the cats in again.
Tonight when I drew close, she hissed. I placed my hand close to let her sniff it and for a moment it seemed as if she would.
But then Buffy came forward meowing, then Tux, and the moment was gone.
After a ton of research when we were considering another child, we put in place a few rules to prepare him:
1. Wolf must feel and know that Kitten belongs to us. We are a family.
2. We must make him feel she is worthy of all our love and that she takes away none of our love from him.
3. Sharing is emphasized. Sharing is what a family does.
4. Having a sister must be a positive and happy thing to him.
5. Family time is important. We must spend time together (before bedtime, for us) every day. All 4 of us.
6.To remember that it is our job as parents to ensure 1-5 happens and parry all negative sentiments from others.
So with that in mind, here is what we did:
1. Before Kitten was conceived, we asked Wolf if he wanted a sibling. He said yes.
2. When I was pregnant, we told him we were making the baby for him, and more importantly, that she belonged to him and us, and is also part of this family.
3. When I was tired, I told him making a baby in my tummy was hard work and gave him lots of hugs, kisses, and attention and cuddles while I lay down to rest. We did resty things like reading and playing cars on the bed.
4. I nursed, as painful as it became with my nipples becoming extra sore. I distracted myself with my iPod Touch as I could no longer fall asleep nursing him because of the pain and discomfort.
5. We took care to associate her arrival with wonderful and positive experiences. Like receiving special presents from each parent, and one special one (he has always wanted) from Kitten given when he first meets her. And he got to choose a present for her. It worked beautifully.
6. I tandem nursed as often as I could (too tired to argue anyway). Day time anyway. Night time was tougher as he was nursed to sleep. Someone had to either carry her till he slept or entertain him while she nursed and then dozed off, on her own (of this I am grateful).
7. We do things together. I keep them both close – none of this someone takes him away from me while I am looking after her. Whether changing diapers or nursing or playing. Both kids sit on my lap during story time.
8. I don’t refuse him as much as I can if he wants to nurse. He wants to know I still love him so I show him in that way that I do. Lately he has been asking me if I love him and I take it as a sign that he needs my attention. I always stop what I am doing and look him in the eye and say tenderly, of course I love you… so much.
9. I take time to spend individually with each child. Daddy takes him out to the playground so I have one-on-time with Kitten (even though when he is engrossed in his games I sneak a conversation with her). When she is asleep in our Ergo (which I use all the time with her), I play and read to him.
10. It is tiring and I am often exhausted and screaming for me-time. Accept all the help you can get to rest. But don’t allow anyone to undermine your relationship with your kids. When they say well-meaning things that do hurt him, I reassure him and correct them gently.
Take your time and enjoy each day. Your greatest gift to your children are to help them build a strong and loving bond between them so that years on even after you are gone, they will always still have each other.
Boy ~ 28 January 1992 – 24 April 2009
My sweet baby Boy passed away tonight at 2345h from what appeared to be a cat version of a heart attack. The vet valiantly tried to resuscitate him as his gasping ceased but failed.
He had been eating well at dinner time and seemed his usual self till loud crashes and strange howls from the back around 2240h led me to go investigate.
I found him lying on his side in a pool of spilt water and urine and he was gasping and howling in a voice that terrified me. I carried him to his favourite rug and he foamed slightly at the mouth. He seemed in distress and pain and was shaking. I stroked his fur. He did not flinch.
I tried looking online but found nothing. My Cornell’s Vet book was missing. I phoned the hubby to hurry home. Then I looked for an emergency animal clinic. The nurse took down what happened and told me she’d call the vet.
When she phoned back, hubby was home and getting a box and towel ready for Boy. He said it looks like a stroke and I’d better come along. I burst into tears. For the first time I realised he could die.
I kept telling him as he lay in that box that I was here and I love him. His howling had ceased and he was just gasping.
The nurse was waiting for us downstairs. We hurried up. The vet shaved his paw and gave him a plug. They injected some meds in him and I thought he’d be ok till she put a tube down his throat and the nurse started pressing on his chest and asked us to sit outside.
I knew it was bad then but still held out hope. Tears just burst and I sat while Wolf looked at me quizzically. Later he kept asking me where is Boy and all I could say was he is gone forever.
The vet came out and said, he’s gone. I rushed to the room and looked at him. His eyes were open and he merely looked dazed, not dead. One of his eyes had thickened already. I stroked his fur, his perfect soft fur.
It was over but I needed answers. It was too late for a blood test but an xray showed no blockage in his throat nor lungs nor unusual in his heart. Most likely she said, it was his heart, not something he ate.
I let them clean him up and put him in another room for me to say my goodbyes. I stroked him and held him for the longest time, knowing I’d never be able to do that again. Tomorrow he’d be cold from refrigeration. He’d be stiff.
The nurse was kind, promised to wrap him in his towel before putting him on ice. Tomorrow we’d take him to my aunt’s garden to bury him. I won’t have him burnt in some furnace. I held him tight, kissed him, and told him that I loved him before saying goodbye.
He was my first baby and for all of my life, I will never forget him.
I just read in one of my pregnancy books that around the 35th week (and that’s when it began) the hormones will turn expectant mothers into aliens. Yes, this post is proof of that. Unnecessary worrying, strange cravings (for sugary food – yuck!), preoccupation with unnecessary things (finishing the courtyard! and maybe sewing some stuffed animals), excessive purchasing of baby things. Heck, I even started Wolf on cloth diapers (bumGenius – not bad at all but for the PUL), and have ordered some wool diapers after I read that PUL could be an endocrine disruptor. Dang.
Meanwhile I am still figuring out this cloth diapering thing. Prefolds, doublers… heck, I just bought an all-in-one. Then I found out that they take a while to dry if I don’t wring them out properly and air every bit of it. They’re expensive too. $30 a pop (or poop) and we’ll need a lot when the little one is born. Currently Wolf just uses it once a day and we change it whenever he is wet during this feeble attempt to toilet train. I haven’t had to wash out poop yet so maybe that’s why I am still chipper about the whole thing.
Even bought the Seventh Generation size 3 diapers which looked so small and thin I haven’t dared to put them on Wolf yet. They are supposed to fit a child of weight up to 13kg but they look small enough to fit only Kaku! I better try them soon though. Wolf’s growing like a weed. Or maybe I can save them for the baby. Hmm…
The courtyard project is almost complete. The glass roof is leaking in 2 places so that’s gonna be fixed soon – clothes can’t hang there yet but I have populated the place with some sun-loving plants, including a sweet basil that freshens up the place a bit. I’ve given up on Boston Ferns which have all but died on me. Ivies too. They hate the heat. Only 2 survive and I am giving them as much TLC as I can before I pop.
Ornery after 8 months of changing cat poo, DH banished Boy to the back with the other cats after he peed and pooed indiscriminately outside his pan after the workmen traipsed all over the area. Surprisingly he’s doing quite well and only Tux seems upset about this new arrangement (maybe cos he is now half Boy’s size and the change in hierarchy since Sam and he broke off and Sam grew bigger than he has affected him somehow). Boy nabbed a nice spot on a chair with a soft towel and seems happy there. I do miss petting him in the kitchen.
Wolf has been clingier than normal, especially at night. And that has been so hard cos it hurts ever more now to nurse. Thankfully it is mostly the first minute then the pain abates. There’s still tons of milk, although it looks more like water to me. Wolf swears it tastes the same. “Nan is the sweetest”, he chirps. And then sings me a song he made up about the joys of nan nan. How can I not give him any?
Back to the feeling alien thing. I think it is the girl hormones. There’s been weeping. Lots. Especially during sad Buffy moments. When Angel left. When Joyce died. All very sad. Even when Riley left! The only other time I cried during a movie or TV show was when the guy Lou Diamond Philips played died in La Bamba. Anyway. Hope I’ll feel more myself after baby is born. And that the labour is short, painless, and safe…