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  • A little over a month ago one of the cats in the neighborhood had kittens. When I moved into the house last year this mama kitty had claimed my house as her own. I’m allergic to cats, and quite frankly I don’t really like them. I’m more of a dog person. Anyway, very early this spring, maybe even February the male cats made some serious attempts for Mama’s attention. Some were more chivalrous than others, I’ll just say. After that, all the guys disappeared and Mama got a little bump around the middle.

    About 4 weeks ago Mama disappeared. I expected she had either moved away or had her babies. About 3 weeks ago, she brought them out from under the house to show me her pride and joy. 3 babies. 2 boys and 1 girl. (One of the boys and the girl are twins) Um…adorable!

    This week these little ones have made some decisions. First, they prefer that I not come outside. But they really love the food that I leave out for them. But really, they want me not to come outside. Also, I shouldn’t make any noise when I’m outside. And, under no circumstances am I to pick them up. They can be pretty ferocious about that rule. The runt however isn’t afraid of me anymore and even though I’ve only picked him up twice he settles in pretty quickly.

    Today something happened. The kittens discovered the other side of the fence. The side that leads them to the outside world. It made me incredibly sad. What was so interesting, and very difficult, was watching Mama. She stayed in the back yard close to the fence. And she just meowed. Like she was calling out to them to just answer her so she knew they were ok. She can climb the fence. She knows exactly how to get on the other side. But she let them go alone.

    So of course, the connection to being a parent of a teenager came rushing to the forefront of my mind. This is how it’s supposed to be isn’t it? She has to explore what’s on the other side of the fence. I’m here of course. She can come home anytime. But soon, she’ll get farther and farther from the fence. Farther away from home. Watching Mama kitty lay down beside the fence waiting for her babies to come crawling back under to her was almost more than I could bear.

    In a very short moment I said a quick thank you to God for allowing me so many years with my daughter instead of just a few short weeks. Still, time passes and life seems to go at breakneck speed sometimes. I miss my daughter as a baby. I miss her has a toddler and going to her first day of school. I’m thankful that we have the relationship we do, and that she’s comfortable calling me when she’s away and I love that she misses me when she’s been gone for so long. Through all the worry, I’m confident that she knows, and will take advantage of, the fact that she can come home anytime.

    I’ll be interested to see how long it takes for the kittens to move away from home. I’ll feel heartbroken for Mama the first time she crosses the fence and her babies aren’t there. Yes, I know, this is how it works for animals. Life goes on. But there will still be a period of melancholy for the both of us I think.
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