We had always had our mama Mimi with us from the time we could remember, and of course our human mama Bernadette, and aside from a few other humans we saw now and then we didn’t know there was ever anyone else. What kindle of happy kittens could ask for more?
But one day we noticed our mama Mimi was acting a little strangely, distracted and distant, not as attentive with the touch-up baths we loved so much, little licks around the face and ears as we figured all feline moms did. But she kept going to the front door and the windows and pacing around, which was not unusual considering there are often other kitties out there, not to mention her favorite chipmunks and squirrels and birds and more. We just felt she was expecting something to happen and were excited because everything had always been exciting that was new.
We were just about four months old, quite mature we thought but were about to learn a lesson we’d never forget. As we looked out the doors and windows we saw…a big black cat we’d never seen before walking up the sidewalk on the other side of the street. He crossed the street and came right toward our house, but he wasn’t acting like the usual cat visitors, sniffing everything along the way and leaving a little message in return. He just stepped right onto the walk and headed for our front porch. And somehow, it wasn’t his size or shape or anything, we just felt like…somehow, we knew him.
It was obvious our mama Mimi knew him, as did our mama Bernadette. Just when we thought we knew and had experienced everything, like we knew every other cat in the neighborhood and every bird and squirrel by their secret names, these two showed us we were wrong.
Both of them grew very silent and stood still watching the cat turn off the sidewalk and come down our walk toward the door, as if he lived here! Mama Bernadette, of course, grabbed one of her eye boxes and we heard snap snap snap while we did our cat thing. We stood still and studied and turned our ears this way and that and bobbed our noses and opened our mouths to smell better as our mama Mimi taught us in order to experience and assess a situation.
To be purrfectly honest, we were a little scared, and we felt a little unsafe, like we might need to run and hide under Mama Bernadette’s long skirt.
And we were totally confused by the next thought mama Mimi sent to us. The images and ideas we were seeing from her were totally confusing…her and this cat, in the neighbor’s driveway across the street, were they fighting? What was this all about? Then we saw our mom with a big belly, then we saw…some squirming little black things? This cat was somehow part of us, he was our “father”. That was a totally new concept. What was a father?
He kept calling her “Maia”, and he and our mama Mimi had a wordless conversation, something about “not doing that anymore”. In another part of our consciousness it was all coming together. There is that part of us that knows things we can’t see or smell or hear or taste or touch, it just wasn’t as important as what we “knew” in that moment, but we’ve grown into it as the years have passed. In that moment all four of us together were coming to one understanding as we looked at each other and at our little mama and at the cat out on the sidewalk, and even at the other cats who weren’t even related to us, Cookie, Namir, Kelly and Peaches—apparently they knew something too! How could we have not known this? We were learning one big lesson from our mama Mimi and our older brother and sisters, and even our human mama, this concept of “father”, and we weren’t sure we liked it, especially the way he was treating our mama Mimi in her images, and the way he was looking at her and communicating with her now!
But even though our mama is tiny and was way less than half the size of this big black cat, she told him where to go in no uncertain feline terms we won’t repeat here. And he did, just turned around and went back out the way he came in.
Then the conversation started and included all the cats in the house because this was like a new toy to play with! Even we recognized his face—did his eyes look like Giuseppe’s? Those big round paws like Mewsette’s? And that white spot—Bean had one too! And that straight-across back—Mr. Sunshine!
In the end we decided we all looked a little bit like him. But we still looked like our mama Mimi. And we would never love any other kitty in the world like we loved our mama Mimi.
But then she told us something that shocked us all. There was another black cat aside from this one! And another one too! Why didn’t they come to visit? How would we ever know if we looked like him instead? Mama Mimi said she hoped she’d never see him again because she had no further use for him.
Underneath the excitement of meeting this black cat, the whole situation was very confusing. Mama Mimi told us there was a time that this was what she did and she was very careful about who she chose, she liked everything to be organized and neat. But because we would all soon be “fixed” (we didn’t know we were broken) we would never fully understand and that was just fine.
We see plenty of cats out there, but we never saw him again. We hear human cat daddies are pretty special—we have cat uncles and they are the greatest!—and we’ve heard about some cat daddies in our own species who are just as cool as our mama Mimi, but this guy, well, we’re glad they didn’t stay together.
You may also recognize this guy from “The Boys Don’t Get Off the Hook on Spay Day”.
Read about Mimi and her epiphany about the happiness of being spayed in her annual Mother’s Day address, Mimi, on “Mother’s Day”, but once you’ve produced the Fantastic Four, how could you possibly top that?!
So who do you think looks like the cat daddy?
Sadly, I didn’t have a trap in those days and no one to assist, and I never found out exactly who owned all the unneutered black cats, so I never caught this guy.
. . . . . . .
I first published this on The Creative Cat for Father’s Day 2012.
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They have to do everything in groups of three, or four…or five. A friend gave me a new bed for them, and this is the result, four of them in the bed immediately, even if they don’t all fit. Jelly Bean is laughing because everyone is lying on top of him. How can I tell them apart? Well, look at those expressions! Read more and purchase.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters Tuesday: Rescue Stories Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork Thursday: New Merchandise Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!