My son has a new kitten. Wait, let me rephrase that.... I have a new kitten that my son brought home a couple of weeks ago. I won't totally complain about the kitten, partly because he and a litter mate were abandoned by momma when they were about 3 weeks old so this makes him an orphan which tugs at my mothering heart strings, and partly because you just can't play mother to a baby anything and not get attached. It's just one curse of being a mother.
The kitten has become another one of my kids. He is a baby with needs he can't possibly meet for himself and I, being cursed to be a mom for the rest of my life, must heed his tiny, squeaky little cries ... no matter what hour of the day he squeaks.
The kitten needs a name. He came to us the night before Halloween. He's orange, a very Halloween-y color. How about "Goblin?" Great! After about a few days I started tossing the name "Gremlin" around. It seemed more fitting as this little guy's forte seems to lie more in the direction of causing trouble than in being scary. Next came "Monkey" because he climbs absolutely everything amazingly quickly and completely without fear. None of these names stuck. They just didn't fit him quite right.
If you live in the mid west or have ever been to the mid west you know what chiggers are. For anyone not familiar with these little nasties, let me tell you, you are soooo lucky! Chiggers are teensy little bugs that you can't see. They strike without warning and leave extremely itchy bites (think mosquito bites seriously amplified) all over your body that welt up and drive you insane for what seems like forever. Well, it's not a bite exactly, but it's gross so I won't go into the details of what it actually does. Nobody ever get's just one chigger bite. I went to kansas for a week with my then fiance' to visit his wonderful family. By the time we left for home we had 117 bites between the two of us.
We named the kitten "Chigger." He is a tiny little thing. You don't see him coming and you suddenly find you've been bitten many, many times. It's a very fitting name.
Chigger rules the house. He's the newest addition to the 5 dogs and 4 cats already vying for the position of Alpha Animal. I've rarely seen any of the cats since Chigger arrived. I know where Chigger is by looking at the dogs. They seem to take turns kitten sitting.
My dogs, a very large German Shepard, a German Shepard/Coyote cross and the only female in the group, Labrador/Pitbull cross, Irish Setter and a Cocker Spaniel are insanely fascinated by the orange ball of fluff rolling erratically across the floor of the entire house. It's a real hoot to watch the dogs try to figure out how to play with this tiny new sibling with all the sharp edges. They have all curled up at, at one time or another, and taken a nap with the kitten. They adore him even when he bites them. Apparently the Mother's Curse is contagious to animals of either gender. Except for cats. The cats seem to be totally immune to the cuteness that is a baby thing. Sometimes, I wish I were a cat.
Thanks to Chigger I'm jealous of the rest of the world who follows DST. Everyone else got an extra hour to sleep in. Facebook was teeming with people praising the God's of the extra hour. To Chigger, feeding time is still feeding time regardless of the time. The 7 a.m. feeding now comes at 6 a.m. which means, compared to the rest of the DST world, I'm getting up an hour ealier than I did before. Animals don't believe in sleeping in. There is a schedule and we must stick to it strictly or face the wrath of something furry with sharp edges and an attitude.
For the time being, Chigger spends his nights in a small kennel on my nightstand with a space heater blowing in his general direction. It's set up with all the comforts a kitten could need over night. I am proud, and also disappointed, to say that Chigger is smart. He has taught himself how to "grab" the kennel gate and rattle the crap out of it when he wants something.
Just imagine I'm sleeping, quite peacefully. Having a really great dream that I still would like to know the outcome of. All of the sudden my dream and my sleep are both shattered to miniscule pieces by something that sounds like:
CLACK CLACK MEOW BANG MEOW CLACK BANG BANG MEOW BANG
There is no sleeping through this sound. Ever. It is the sound of a baby who needs something ... and it's also annoying as hell. I am compelled to take care of the baby. I am suffering from the Mother's Curse. No gypsy could cast a curse this strong. I have bite marks from razor sharp little teeth and scratches from playful claws that could shred leather and still, when the kitten calls, I answer as only a mother would do. I am cursed.
Does anyone know of a good place to take Cat lessons?