On November 3rd, 16 years ago, I was witness to a beautiful thing.
My sister's beautiful, TINY, blue tortie kitty, Puce, went into her very first labor. My sister rushed to my mom's house to tell us about it. I ran downstairs as fast as I could, of course, but my mom being my mom and not the most fond of kitties took her time.
I was there to watch first Junior, then Storm and finally Kaleeka come out into a world.
There were no issues with Junior and Storm, both were quite big and Puce was able to get them out of their birth sacs and get them all cleaned up. Kalee was an other issue. We're not sure why but it took her much longer to release Kalee and by the time the tiny kitten emerged, she was so exhausted that we had to step in to save the runt...definitely the runt! Eric and I reached in and gently removed the membrane around her and cleaned her up. We cleared her tiny mouth and nose of the mucus and waited for her to take her first breath.
It didn't come. Eric and I panicked and in a moment of genius, Eric picked up the delicate coin-sized baby, put her head gently in his mouth and breathed into her nose.
She suddenly gave a great gulp and let out one heck of a howl for one so tiny.
My mom arrived just before Kalee came into the world and so was there throughout the whole drama of Kalee's first breath. EVERYONE in the room was crying in joy to see her breathing and seemingly healthy!
Alas, our happiness lasted only about three weeks. Suddenly Puce refused to let her drink from her. She was half the size of her brother and sister and there was no way she'd have survived on her own. I was drafted to be her nanny seeing as I had the time to help wean her.
We took 3 weeks to slowly wean her to solid food going from mostly milk pablum, to mostly pablum to soft kitten food to hard kitten food. I flew by the seat of my pants as I had no clue! I tried to ignore it, but I fell in love with this tiny, needy little girl. She would follow me around the house, sleep with me in bed, cuddle, play and do her best just to be around me. Knowing I could never have her because my mom doesn't like kitties, I did my best (obviously not good enough) to remain aloof thinking I was doing this so someone else could have her.
By mid-December, she was basically weaned, but she was still very small and so my mom said it was OK to keep fostering her until she was big enough to be offered up for adoption. Look at her, do you honestly think it would have taken a long time for someone to gobble her up? Ok, maybe I'm biased...:D
Come New Years, she was almost at a normal kitten weight and she was finally roly-poly. I started to detach even more because I knew her time with me was over and she'd be going to her new home. And then she was still with us all the way until January 9th, my birthday.
That's when my mom did the unthinkable.
She told me Kalee was mine to keep, that we would finally call her something other than kitty. I thought my mom was joking! Little did I know that a bond was created when my mom watched her be born. For the first time my mom liked a cat. Not just liked but loved. And she hide it from me. She had planned on giving Kalee to me from the moment I started weaning her. My mom calls on Kalee's birthday to talk to her every single year since I moved out...:D Isn't she adorable??? :D:D:D
We spent hours brainstorming a name for her. We wanted something that played with her beautiful calico coloring and so we came up with Kaleeka. Mind you, we have a bunch of nick-names for her too...;) Kalee-kalee, Miss Priss, Puty-tuty and Brat to name a few...:D She was the only calico kitty out of three litters by Puce.
I truly, deeply believe that the bond we have is a result of me being so closely connected to her in her kittenhood. She has a dog's personality. She's friendly, affectionate, loud, boisterous, demanding, a true drama-queen. We have such closely meshed personalities that it's scary sometimes. She's also incredibly communicative. It's often difficult to know what a cat wants when they are sitting there meowing at you but Kalee has quite a few tones and levels to tell you what she wants and she'll even lead you to it to make sure she gets her point across. Feed me, clean my litter, let me in the tub, water please, cuddle please, sleep time please, I'm pissed at you, enough with the grooming, and you're moving me why?...all these have different sounds and so I almost always know what she wants. Of course there are moments where I just think she wants to piss me off...;) She is LOUD and I think that's because she was the runt.
Well, runt....that honestly didn't last very long. She VERY quickly grew. At one point, she tipped the scale at a whopping 19.6lbs. She was definitely overweight, but not as much as one would think seeing as she's larger than your average female. In fact, the vet said she had the bone structure sizing of a large tom! Not that I'm surprised, her daddy was a HUGE boy. He's one of the biggest cats I've ever encountered and he didn't have an ounce of fat on him.
Kalee has just turned 16 and she's doing wonderfully...:) She's arthritic, but it doesn't stop her from jumping on the couch or bed to be where I am. I also helped her lose the weight she needed to lose to help her move around better and she's at a healthy 14.2lbs.
None of my girls are active and so my solution to make them move around was to use these treat balls that get batted around as feed balls during the day. They get their night feeding in a regular bowl so the rolling won't disturb the neighbors at night.
I'm so very blessed to have had the opportunity to raise and love this special kitty. She truly loves me without reservation and conditions and she's a constant source of drama and amusement.
What more could one want in a special friend?