A Mother’s Work is Never Done

black cat washing black kitten
Mimi finishes Bean’s bath while Giuseppe, in the tub, plays with her tail.

Each year my human decides to pull out some more photos of me with the kids. I hope some day she gets over this. We caught her digging through boxes and cartons in the entertainment center and she wouldn’t even let us help look, though you can be sure I would have gotten in her way if I had known she was looking up the photos she took when my babies were tiny. At least she didn’t choose another where I’m nursing them and my lovely figure is all distorted!

But these aren’t so bad. Sigh…I almost feel wistful. They were so small, I was so much bigger than them, and look at us now.

black cat washing black kitten
Mimi caught in the act: a young Jelly Bean enjoys a bath from his mom.

But she didn’t have to show this one! Oh, I don’t miss those days! Six litters were way too many! When I look at this one I hope for every girl cat everywhere in the world that she be spayed before she evens knows what’s happening!

black cat nursing kittens
Poor Mimi doesn’t even get a break from nursing kittens to have a decent meal.

This is more like it, all grown up and happily napping together, with me on top.

five black cats in a basket
What do you name a bunch of black cats? The possibilities are endless!

Happy Mother’s Day, and speaking of that human, she wants to say something…

. . . . . . .

black cat on windowsill
One of Mimi’s inscrutable expressions.

Tough Love From the Mother Cat

I have apparently always needed a feline caretaker. Initially it was my boy Kublai who rescued me while I was in college and helped guide my life and provide inspiration for years afterward, and caused me to rescue any cat who seemed to need help.

When he felt I was sufficiently improved as a human and other cats would benefit from my education, he moved on to his next assignment. For a decade I was left in the capable paws of Sophie and Cookie who were always on each side of me, often even leaning on me, to provide love and support. Cookie guided me alone for six years after that, always at my side, smiling, and happily accompanying me in most activities.

Cookie began mentoring Mimi before I even realized, and I was left in the practical paws of Mimi who treats me as she did her kittens:

“You need to eat now.”

“Get over yourself.”

“You are not the center of the universe.”

“You need to go to bed.”

There are times when I could use the company of a human to help make a decision, to help answer a question or just for company and with my sometimes odd hours no human is around, but I turn to look at my feline familiar and am met with a direct gaze from eyes as deeply understanding as any human’s could be and I know the mind behind those eyes understands on a level beyond words. Sometimes in my own non-verbal way, that is exactly what I need. As a human whose life has been guided by loving, nurturing felines I can honestly say I am grateful for their guidance.

black cat
Mimi understands.

See Mimi’s Mother’s Day greeting from 2013, 2012 and 2011.

From we Creative Cats to all you cat moms and pet moms and human moms out there! And here’s a video a friend shared of a rabbit, whether wild or a domestic rabbit living on its own, nursing its babies. Mother rabbits build a warren of tunnels underground and after the first few days leave their babies all day long so they don’t lead predators back to the warren. This rabbit isn’t giving birth but uncovers the opening enough for the babies to come out and nurse, then she leaves again, and they all obediently scurry back inside. I saw this once in my back yard many years ago and thought I was seeing things, but then learned about wild rabbits. It’s one of the reasons I started building the brush piles along my fence, so the mother rabbits could have cover in and out of their dens.

~~~~~

My mother died in 2011, and my loss of Peaches taught me what to expect in her loss. I wrote an essay for Mother’s Day, as well as other things about my mother, which you can read on Today.


 

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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

6 thoughts on “A Mother’s Work is Never Done

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm
    Permalink

    Mimi, you were a good Mom, and still are,to your kittens
    and a good Mom to Bernadette 😉
    We love Jelly Bean and Mimi at bath time.
    Mimi and Mom B are both good moms.
    Happy Mother’s Day !
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure, JJ
    and Angels Tiger and Tillie

    Reply
    • May 11, 2014 at 10:02 pm
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      Georgia and Julie, it’s kind of nice to “retire” for a while with this wonderful little family!

      Reply
  • May 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm
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    Sweet Mimi..I know that was so much for a tiny Mama like you to go through..but somehow I know that you were a good and loving Mom to every kitten you had..I can tell by the precious kids that are still lucky enough to be with you..And Mama B..any kitty is lucky to be with you..for a short time or for their whole lifetime..Their lives and yours are so much better for it..Happy Mother’s Day and Hugs to both of you!!

    Reply
      • May 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm
        Permalink

        Bluemoonalone, I’ve seen a lot of kittens, I don’t even know for sure how many, and Bean was cute from the very first moment, and is still about the cutest one, ever, and as an adult too!

        Reply
    • May 11, 2014 at 9:59 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you, Bluemoonalone! Mimi is my special girl, I can’t live without seeing her all through the day but she’s always with me, unless she’s cuddling with her kids. My life is definitely better for their presence!

      Reply

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