A story of two sisters

As optimistic as I am, sometimes it distresses me what I’ve seen of paths that cats did not get themselves off of. If you’ll indulge me the time for a story…

I once knew two littermates. Meg and her sister are a glossy fur example of divergent path from one womb (and probably 2 toms, but we’ll never know).

Meg was friend to the world. She slept in a doghouse or a lap or a barn stall next to a goat. She was not at all specist. She loved to roam, kept a wide swath, almost male swath of territory. Hated pregnancy, but loved the toms. She was from the litter of a gifted telepath and was able to intuit emotions to a large degree herself, but she got skewed far into the realm of addiction; her weakness was catnip. She would seek it out, roll in it until she staggered. She would forsake her litter of kittens in the care of her own sister for days as she went about in a purring droolling haze from catnip patch to next catnip buzz. Whether it would have been her original philosophy of Meg to be kit-free if catnip had not bitten on so deeply, we’ll never know.

Then there was her sister. That was a fur apart. She was a fine boned build, with as much black brindle on her as her sister had pinto white patch. Her glide was as smooth as her sister’s was pouncey and cock-on-the-walk.

Whereas Meg greeted dog and hairless alike, her sister, who had the hairless name of Suz, retreated, keeping to the shadows that were as quiet as she was. Suz bonded with few hairless and few non-cats. She was skitterish, private. This became more the case since she broke her left back leg while misjudging car speed. Still she didn’t murmer complaint, or if she did, never to me.

They nursemaided each other, even when litters were a week or few apart, took turns nursing and taking them out of danger, moving them from nest to nest. Suz was something of a saint — forebearing and bearing labor after labour. She even took on Meg’s unweanable Pinkie who outclassed her in weight.

MeanwhileMeg took her little ones out, ostensibly to hunt, and sometimes took both her own and the communally raised Suz’s offspring too. But with each progressive litter she took them sooner and sooner. On Meg’s 6th pregnancy, while they were still barrel-bellied and blind she took them to the forest. Her sister previously had tracked the path and brought the litters back, this time with frost in the air as it is now, and fisher population high that year, the late litter had all perished but one before she could retrieve them. Stoic as always Suz took her loss. Meg, as ever, seemed unaffected veering between her high volume purr, scent-marking the dog, the post, the food bowl and her lovely patch of special grasses.

Could either have changed by choice or experience to become more like her own sister even? If Meg had been birthed in a region bereft of fresh, abundant wild catnip, would she have found an alternate addictive substance, beyond the toms she was so fond of? Would she have not ended up driven so many dozens of km outside her range, buzzed and dazed, strung out in the catnip patch she found. Would I have not lost her… if what?

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