Monday 29 August 2011

'Surprise! I'm pregnant' - Part Two - Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus - Week 69

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Jenny Matlock

Welcome to Saturday Centus, Week 69, Mrs. Jenny Matlock's writing challenge, where participants are asked to write a PG-rated text to a given written prompt, in any style or genre of writing, with normally no picture (but this post is an exception), and using only up to 100 words (or several 100-word posts), not counting the three words in the prompt. This is week 69 and the prompt is: 'Surprise, I'm pregnant!'

This is Part Two. If you haven't read Part One, do it here.

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

My text follows here:

I have to think that my cat, Cajsa, did this to cheer me up. In February, when it was bitter cold, I found her celebrating her second marriage to a beautiful, grey, tabby tom, outside of the expensive townhouse that I would soon have to leave. I had let her out for some fresh air that afternoon while I went to fetch Elisabet from school. When Elisabet and I returned, there they stood, the two cats together, proclaiming their love, the way cats usually do.

I ran inside the house to get my camera, but Cajsa's shy beloved had disappeared before I could get back outside. But I think I would recognise him if I ever saw him again. He was beautiful. I can understand why she fell for him.

So Cajsa-Cat fell in love. Or perhaps she felt like living it up when she was offered an invitation. She surprised me because I did not think she would be up to such activities. She had(still has) a huge tumor hanging from her belly like an extra human breast. And she was not young - eleven and a half years old. Maybe she wanted to give us a gift to remember her by? Miniatures of herself?

Cajsa had her love-affair before I started packing to move. But my marriage was already falling apart and the divorce was in the works - on paper. To have to prepare for a move and have kittens to take care of - at the same time - is not a good combination. But Cajsa had decided for me that this is what she wanted. (I have always trusted Cajsa's wisdom.)

With time, Cajsa had become a sage-like cat with great spiritual ability. I know, it sounds crazy and many people refuse to believe me. It started when my former husband and I dearly wanted children. The cats (we had three, then) were our surrogate children. When I could finally say 'Surprise, I'm pregnant!' and I was expecting our son, Erik, I was afraid I would miscarry as I had done several times before.

When I noticed a little spotting of blood, I lay down on the bed and cried. Cajsa Cat hopped up on the bed and climbed up on my chest, and rubbed her face under my chin and purred. This was the first time that she had ever done this. It was as if she wanted to comfort me and thank me for what I had done for her
when she gave birth to her kittens. Since then she and I have had a special bond. She made me smile and even laugh a little. 'This crisis will pass', is what she meant. And it did.

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Back to this past year: Suddenly it was April, and I realised that Cajsa was going to have her kittens soon. I started making a birthing-bed and trying to remember what I did the last time, eleven years ago. Poor Cajsa would not get the same attention that she received before I had children of my own. I gave her all my time back then. This time, I felt that I could not do that. I was worried too. Could she die as a result of this?

It was in the afternoon of April 4th when when Cajsa wanted to go out. I regretted opening the door, because I could see that her 'water had broken' and a red string of mucus was hanging from her under her tail. Oh no, I thought, her labour has started. I got her back inside and tried to get her to lay down somewhere to rest. I let her lay down on the comforter on our bed. (See the first two photos) She was restless. Nothing more happened. I made a special bed for her from a basket that I had sewn for the children when they were infants. She crawled in it and we all went to bed. (This is the bloody bed you see in the third photo. Then a lot happened and not everything was photo-documented, as I was her midwife as well as photographer.)

When Cajsa gave birth the first time it was during the day, which meant that I was there to see everything and even could help her dry kittens with paper towels. It was unfortunate for Cajsa, that her second litter of kittens starting coming at night, when everyone - including me - was asleep. She had to tackle the hardest part of becoming a mother - alone.

I woke up at around two a.m. hearing the peeps and cries of a kitten. Cajsa had a living kitten that she was licking and trying to nurse. But I checked the whole basket, and found the lifeless body of a kitten behind Cajsa's back. It was still wet and warm. I immediately started drying and gently massaging it. No response.

'There's no life there', said my Ex knowingly. But it was still warm! It had a beautiful little body. It was an entirely black or grey kitten, that had no white areas at all. Its face was well-formed. There was no sign of deformity. But it never responded and I gave up trying. Cajsa must have known more than I did.

I felt guilty about this dead or perhaps stillborn kitten for days, until I read up on cats giving birth. The hardest thing for a cat-mother-to-be is to give birth to a kitten that has already died while still inside. It could be the lack of oxygen or that the umbilical cord became detached or a defect that I could not see by just looking at it. An already dead kitten is hard for the cat-mother to push out. Being twelve years old and not really completely healthy, this must have been an even greater ordeal for Cajsa.

Kittens that are alive, help their mother in the birthing-process. They want out! And this I could see as number two and then number three happily left Cajsa's womb. They seemed to rejoice in being alive. And there were three that had survived! One kitten for each of my children, plus an extra, to make up for the red kittens that were given away to other people. (See this page for that story. Sorry, I'm having trouble with Blogger. I'll supply that link later! )

It was time to wake the children. I put away the dead kitten and showed the children the three beautiful living kittens that Cajsa had given us during the night.

We ate breakfast and I told them about the first kitten who died. Erik was moved and and wanted to see him. I showed them the kitten and he was named 'Lars'. (We'll never know what it was. But it is a good guess that it was a little boy-cat because it was only one colour. The extra chromosomes that all females have give cat-ladies more multi-coloured coats.) The children got to see the body of the dead kitten and it was decided to have a funeral for Lars the kitten at the farm.

This was done too. I laid Lars in a tea-box on a bed of tissues and Erik took it upon himself to arrange a burial. I was not present because I had stopped going to the farm at this time.

Back to April 5th: After breakfast, Elisabet and Erik were eager to see Cajsa and the kittens. And to Elisabet's great delight she came in time to witness the birth of the fourth and last kitten. It started squealing and peeping when it had only wiggled halfway out! The last one was eager for life. So there were four kittens, not just three! Not bad, for such an old cat!

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Here is a photo of number four. I debated with myself weather or not I should take photos of Lars the kitten who died. He was lovely, even in death. But I could not collect myself enough to do it. I grieved so that I just couldn't. Sometimes I regret it, but I decided that the memory of holding him will have to do. There were so many things happening all at once, and I had not slept very well that night. It is a wonder that I took pictures of the kittens who survived.

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Photo & Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

I am not counting words for this post. I am sure that I have broken all of the rules for Saturday Centus. I am not even sure if this text is fit for children to read! I'm sorry. I usually follow all the rules. But this time I just wanted to share this, without having to edit it too much.

Next post will be more according to the rules.

Word count according to WordCalc: ?????
[Text Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]

Best wishes,

This is a true story. Cajsa was born on May 29, 1999 and her first litter of kittens came on June 6th, 2000. So Cajsa became a mother to six kits when she barely one year old. Her daughter, Sara has never had any kittens.

Cajsa is now twelve years old and is probably suffering from some kind of a tumor. She is with my ex. now so I can't help her at this moment. But I did what I could in April when she had kittens again. This is the second part of Saturday Centus week 69 'Surprise, I'm Pregnant!' is about Cajsa's second and last litter of kittens.
First Commenter:

Ann's Snap, Edit & Scrap

Visit 'Surprise, I'm pregnant' - Part One, here.
To visit other SC-posts for Week 69, please visit this site or click on the image below:

Jenny Matlock

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