Finally, the big day is here—the birthday! The Fantastic Four are five years old today! Of course, they have no concept of this and it’s totally unimportant since the world did not exist before they were here. And they certainly don’t mind the special breakfast and treats and the all-day catnip party, but the party hats were more fun to chew on and play with than to wear.
Thanks to BlogPaws I received my package of Halo Spot’s Stew cat food just in time; I was a runner-up in the Nose-to-Nose blog contest and this was one of the rewards. With much fanfare, breakfast was served!
The party hats were too big for their little heads, and the elastic to hold them on too enticing, so I pulled the elastic off and just used the hats as a prop.
However, I had found party beads in their magic colors! Giuseppe got to wear green, Mewsette to wear red, Mr. Sunshine wore yellow and Bean wore blue. Well, at least for a few minutes. Then we just used them as props too! But they spent the day playing with their hats and beads and rolling around in the catnip.
And of course, none of the celebration would have been possible without their little honeymom, Mimi! Her homecoming day is July 29, the day they all came here, but we always celebrate her on the big birthday as well—because moms should always be celebrated on their childrens’ birthdays. Beginning yesterday she was musing again, looking out the window at the street, “…five years ago at this time I was just about to give birth…” and spent most of her day with me, on my lap, on my desk, following me, talking to me, loving on me, thanking me for rescuing her babies, and also for rescuing her, for spaying her, and for giving her the loving home she’d always dreamed of. She’s my little girl, that Mimi. I love her more each day, and thank her for being part of my life, and she knows it.
And late last night, Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite sent a loving message to Giuseppe in honor of his birthday:
My dearest, my most beloved, my Giuseppe,
Tomorrow will be your birthday. Oh, such a wonderful beautiful day, the day when your Mama Mimi brought you and Mewsette, Jelly Bean and Mr. Sunshine into this magical world. Please, my most beloved Giuseppe Basil, give your Mama Mimi and your sister and brothers my congratulations.
But for you, my dear one, I am filled with love and joy and tonight, as I rest in the red brocade bed in the window, watching and waiting for the rain to come, my feline head is filled with thoughts of you and your birthday. My feline heart, as always, overflows with love for my Giuseppe.
Your Mlle Daisy Emerald Marguerite.
So while they had their fun, and I took waaayyyy too many photos of them (the brightly colored beads and hats really got to me), I thought about these past five years since they’ve joined my household…
I remember how frightened I was when Mimi and the fragile little fuzzballs joined me, not because they were nearly newborn and Mimi was then a stranger—that situation was hardly new to me—but because I’d lost their half-sister just two weeks before, at 15 months, to FIP, and Lucy told me to save her mom. I’d taken them in to my home in order to get Mimi off the street and spayed, and to remove a possibly fatal bloodline from being passed on to future generations. We don’t really know much about FIP except that it is nearly always fatal, especially the effusive form which Lucy had.
I also took them in because I needed to heal from a lot of loss. Lucy’s loss had been a shock, but in the year previous to that I’d lost my four oldest cats, three of whom I’d known longer than any other living being animal or human, and I looked at the four cats I had left, all in their teens, and my house reduced from nine to four in just over a year, and I knew that if I didn’t immerse myself in a new household I would linger in the sadness for far too long.
And while I inspected the kittens and their mom several times a day for signs of fatal illnesses, marked their ears with colors so I could tell them apart should one of them become ill in some way, tortured my veterinarian with questions and kept waiting for the bad news to come, they simply ignored me and grew up. By the time the were five or six weeks old I had pretty much forgotten to be frightened and several times daily picked up several or all four in one big double-handful and kissed them all repeatedly. And while I knew that Lucy had had no signs of FIP until I had her spayed, I intuitively felt they were fine.
I knew I’d keep them for their first year in order to continue observing them for signs of FIP, and to get them spayed and neutered and monitor them afterward. I would never want anyone to lose a new kitten in the unexpected and painful way I’d lost Lucy, so they’d stay with me past the danger zone.
Of course, with their birthday in July, they came up for adoption in the middle of kitten season and I didn’t have much hope of finding a home for them in mid-summer. Then it was nearing Halloween and five black cats up for adoption right before that holiday was not entirely wise except to the best household. And black cats are difficult to adopt out, statistics show that all the time. So by November, when they were 16 months old, they were still here.
And they became a perfect subject for art and photography.
And the rest is history. You see it every day.
So congratulations on five years, my Precious Puddies, my Fantastic Four, my Curious Quartet, Sunshine, Bean, Mousse and The Guy, and most of all your honeymom Princess Mimi, I could never hope to give you a gift that in any way equals what you’ve given me, and continue to give, every day.
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