The Chickenloaf Papers: Stories from the Kitten Room
2001 :: january :: february :: march :: april :: after april
Chessie, Charlie, Nosegay and Snooples

if i forget thee, let my right paw lose her cunning

friday, february 2 , 2001

Snooples, Chessie, Little Charlie a.k.a. Little Rabbit, and Nosegay a.k.a. Stuart were born exactly six months ago today.

The happiest of birthdays, to you, kids.

On that morning of August 2, we were due to take Sugarlips to the veterinarian, to get spayed, of all things. Edsel had been remarking about how the fluffy starveling was putting on weight. Sugarlips is plumping up nicely , he'd say. But me, I was going through one of those times that are like a grade school dodgeball game and was way too distracted to scrutinize the physique of our stray cat.

Then early in the morning on the last Saturday of July, I caught sight of Sugarlips waddling around on swollen ankles. Swaying down the hallway, she appeared almost wider than she was long. She looked like one of those enormous-bellied dwarf goats. I pressed my palms against her sides, already knowing what I'd feel there: kittens bobbing around.

The following Thursday morning, there was Sugarlips lying on the cool hardwood floor of Edsel's study with three soggy newborns. They looked stunned, a little glum. A fourth was on her way, like a kid late for the school bus. That was Snooples.

By evening, Sugarlips was contentedly nursing her four caterpillars. The little latecomer had a beautiful face. The big silver one was considerably fatter than the rest. The mostly-white one had a way of perplexedly wrinkling her brow that pulled her ears together, and the fourth wore half a white mask and a beatific smile.

They had a curious way of crawling a few inches and then toppling onto their backs. How could they topple onto their backs when they were already flat on their stomachs?

Kitten physics.

Image: The Kittens, Chessie, Snoopy, Little Rabbit, and Nosegay

More about Chessie...
More about Snoopy...
More about Little Rabbit...
More about Nosegay...
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