FOR WEDNESDAY WRITING ESSENTIALS PROMPT, CATS
CATS IN MY PANTS
© 2013 by David Wainland
About sixty-days after Sneezer got out she was due to have her litter. Mom and dad took her to the animal hospital and that first night she had a litter of one kitten. That’s right, only one baby, but not so surprising because Sneezer, when we found her, a kitten crouched behind a car tire and sneezing in the rain, was suffering through pneumonia. We took her in, nurtured her, nursed her, fed her and saw her through the worst of the illness. She survived, flourished and matured into a full fledged house cat, though a petite version. Her growth was stunted and she barely grew larger than the kitten we found
A few days later we brought them home. The year was 1963 and a sad time in our home. Only a short month before my eighteen year old brother had passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. My parents were devastated and looked at the new kitten as a spiritual rebirth. Somehow he picked up the name, Napoleon, though for another obscure reason we always called him Little Joe. Little Joe eventually grew to twice the size of Sneezer, but I digress.
We carried both Sneezer and her cub into the house in the same box, made a space for her in the living room and spread out soft blankets. Sneezer stepped out of the box, grabbed the kitten by the scruff of the neck, locking him safely in her jaws, and she disappeared up the stairs to the second floor out of sight. We only saw her again that evening when she returned with Little Joe in her mouth and deposited him in my lap and mewed at the door to be let out. Later she returned, picked up the kitten and quietly withdrew. This went on every night for a week.
I had a spare closet in my room where I stored my winter clothes. One chilly spring day I decided to retrieve a sweater from that closet. The door lay partially opened. I looked in only to discover a pair of my woolen pants on the floor and lined with shredded newspaper. In the center of this perfect nest I found Sneezer and Little Joe.
For the next month the cats were either in my pants lap or in the closet tucked safely in my pants.