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What About This? By Wayne William Cipriano

By Wayne William Cipriano

Our indoor cat, Winston, is getting on in years. He’s been with us for quite a while. We got him from Renee` when she had to give him up. Renee` had Winston’s nails removed, all of them, and we thought that was a capital idea. But, that means she took on responsibility for Winston from then on because he can no longer run, maneuver, hunt successfully, and so on. When she had to give him away, she thought of us and knew Winston would do well here, and he has. But, time…right?

Rosalie has noticed Winston’s gradual slowing down. He’s sleeping more and more, and Rosalie has allowed the concept of “kittens” to enter her converstaion lately. Nothing obviously pointing to acquiring another bunch of felines, just a few passing kitten references: “Doesn’t that cloud look like a baby cat?”; “Was that a tiny meow I just heard?” Nothing obvious. At least for now. But it will come.

Soon, we’ll be on the lookout for a pregnant cat that might have kittens here. I guarantee it. Last time it was Splash and her nine (NINE!) offspring. With Rosalie’s help, all nine survived well into young adulthood. Some would not have, like Bashful, who was so slow and timid that she would have starved had not Rosalie continually made space for her at the “foodbar” by moving all the rest down one place, over and over. Over time, all the cats left, one way or another, until we had only one, Hercules. A giant of a cat, almost as smart as a dog, with the world’s loudest purr. We had him for eleven or twelve years.

There’s a lot to be said for a cat as a pet, and Rosalie can say all of it. She really likes having a cat around and will miss him when Winston finally chases that celestial ball of yarn. We’ll be looking for a pregnant cat soon thereafter. We’ll have to check out animal shelters that do away with their captives routinely After that, it will be friends and neighbors, extended family, Herald classified, KKOZ’s call-in show, and like that.

Having nine kittens was a trip. Always something going on. And often that stuff would lead to a name for the kitten that can be easily remembered and is a bit more creative than Snowball, Blackie, and Mittens. Like the kitten that could and did escape from just about any enclosure we put him in. All the other kittens were easily confined but not…Houdini. And the kitten that had a deformed leg and always walked with a syncopated shuffle and so…was Tango. But behaviorally-centric naming didn’t come to fruition for Ink Blot and …Mittens.

Anyway, we are going to be inundated with newly-born kittens soon. Much sooner than I would prefer. I’m sure pulling for Winston to hang in there.