We had gotten concerned because “little” Sheba, who came to us from the woods and stayed, was getting pretty round and heavy. The question was posed: is Sheba being fed by a neighbor in addition to the prescribed food we give her? We think not. We hope not, but who knows? We learned that Sheba weighs 11lbs. and 6 ounces. Sheba is fat. Sheba is now on a diet. It was neither worms nor a tumor, even though any normal human being would have thought she was pregnant. She looked like she had swallowed a soccer ball. Sheba is scheduled to be spayed in a few days.
The odd thing is when we learned she’s not expecting kittens—we’d named them a, b, c. & d—we suddenly missed the kittens that weren’t. We have been living with the expectation of kittens for months, and when the days of supposed gestation passed and nothing was occurring, we had to find out what was going on. We even had a raffle going, how many kittens would Sheba have? Most first litters are around three or four. One relative told us some cats can have as many as 12 or 13. Frankly, I was worried.
Now I have random emotions. I am relieved, but I sort of miss the kittens that aren’t. I had to inform some potential kitten owners they won’t be getting any. One said, “I’d hoped for one, but now I’ll have to go to the shelter.” Another said, “You mean I won’t get a kitten?” I told Sheba she disappointed some of our friends. She yawned. I now have to make some phone calls to people up and down the East Coast who have been following Sheba’s “pregnancy” and give them the news.
One emotion we have is the sense of feeling foolish. How could we have been hoodwinked like this? We have been cat owners for years, but never experienced anything quite like this. Random emotions, yes. Relief, disappointment, disbelief, foolish, hoodwinked, amused.
Well, since many readers were interested, it gives me a subject about which to write this month. But enough about Sheba. As Leo Dworken said, “No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat….” I have a friend who dotes on her cats: Bobby and Tommy. Another friend has five cats, one of which is named Frost. She says “I’m his staff.” A dear friend and her husband (both deceased but still dear to me) had a cat named Orson who ruled their home. The woman who used to cut my hair, Madeline (also now deceased), had 23 cats roaming around her country place. Her husband, a carpenter, built two large cat houses for them. Another friend and her husband when building their new home had ten individual cat boxes installed in their garage for their ten cats.
Poets and playwrights have written about cats, Thomas Hatdy, Mark Twain, Baudelaire, even Edgar Alan Poe and Emily Dickinson. T.S. Elliot’s Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was the source of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cats.”My one blog about Sheba is probably enough for me. Hemingway stated, “A cat has absolute emotional honesty. Human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” Care and love your pets… cats, dogs or leaping lizards!