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Missy

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Missy
“MOM, Missy is on my lap and something is coming out of her! I think she is having her babies. I think I can see a paw!” Turns out that is exactly what she was doing.
At just eleven years old I had a cat giving birth on my lap. Most eleven year olds rarely stop to think about the long term consequences of their decisions. In fact, many adults are similar to children in this sense. Unfortunately, it is often the smallest action that has the greatest effect. I learned this lesson during the summer of 2005.
It was nearing spring of 05’, but the nights were still chilling and bitter. My brother was having a small bonfire get together with some friends. He had told me I was only allowed a few brief visits to the fire. During one of these visits, sitting at the fire, an unexpected guest appeared. She was a sleek and slender, brown calico looking cat. She sauntered up to me and hopped up in my lap like she had known me forever. Although taken back by her actions I let her stay. With each pet I gave her, her purring became louder. It seemed that we were meant to be together.
When I was banned from the fire I said my goodbyes, never expecting to see her again. Much to my surprise, in the morning she was still hanging around. In the day light, I could see how skinny she was making me realize she was a stray. This cat needed me but I knew I couldn’t have her.
Although she hadn’t been accepted by the family, I called her Missy. It seems that once you give an animal a name they become loved and part of the family. As I called her by name my mother seemed more willing to feed her. However, she was not allowed in the house due to my dad’s allergies. That was my goal. Spring swiftly turned into summer and our friendship grew closer while Missy seemed to grow fatter. I loved this cat and I knew she loved me.
The proof came one night while I was in bed. It was unusually cold for an early summer night. The wind was blowing, and a storm was brewing in the west. I could see the flashes of lightening from my window. With the thunder keeping me from falling asleep, I made my way to the kitchen for a snack. Tip toeing back to my bedroom I could hear the sounds of the storm, but upon entering my room I heard a scratching sound at my window. It was Missy looking for comfort.
Immediately, all I could think about was how scared Missy had to be. My family would all agree that I’m a very sympathetic person and have a soft spot for all animals no matter how big or small. Missy needed a warm, dry room and I had one. I opened my window, removed my screen and Missy bounded in and headed straight to my bed. The trouble I would be in was overshadowed by the look on her face. I promised myself this would only be a one night thing.
It didn’t take long for that promise to be broken. Making sure my door was shut and my window screen was open, Missy and I snuggled almost every night for 6 weeks. My mom didn’t seem to have a clue. We continued to feed her everyday, which was definitely helping her put on some weight. I’m not sure when we first realized that this added healthy weight was a bit more involved. Missy was pregnant.
Concerned for Missy, my mother called my cousin who was in vet school at the time. She told us to keep doing everything we had been doing but not to be surprised if she left us before giving birth. She informed us that it is a cat’s nature to hide in a place where they feel comfortable and know that while in labor they will not be bothered or harmed. My heart sank at the thought of my new friend leaving and knowing that there was nothing I could do about it made it even worse.
The next several weeks were somewhat uneventful, but my midnight companion continued to come and go. My parents still appeared to be unsuspecting.
My secret was revealed on the day before Father’s Day, Saturday, June 18th. While mom was bringing in groceries, Missy darted into the house through the back door. She had never done this before. I was watching TV on the couch when Missy leaped up into my lap.
“MOM, Missy is on my lap and something is coming out of her! I think she is having her babies. I think I can see a paw!”
My mom quickly ran in the house and swept Missy off my lap with a towel and put her in my old playpen that had been set up for out of town guests. Eight hours later, we had six kittens, and a healthy happy momma cat! She was still the loving friend I had known from before. She let me pet her and she allowed my mom to feed her in the pen. Missy, the stranger that arrived in the dark, marked a new beginning for not only me but for my family. She demonstrated trust in me and I realized my family demonstrated trust in my decision also.
The quick decision I had made changed my life and my family’s. Right or wrong, we still have one of Missy’s babies. We let my Dad, suddenly ‘cured’ of his allergies, pick out which kitten to keep. After seven years, Grey still lives with us. Missy went to a good farm and we found safe homes for the others. Life would be much different if it wasn’t for my four legged midnight friend. Apparently Missy wanted me to be endlessly cleaning out litter boxes until I move out.…...

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