They came to me on a Friday afternoon, with the loan of a “pack and play” playpen, with a sheet of plywood for over the top to keep them contained. I added a dark colored sheet to make it a cozy dark place for them to be tucked into for the night. It was a great plan to assist with the transition. They were 8 weeks old when they became mine. Like many “parents” I had a baby’s bed in my bedroom. I woke when they stirred and was grateful they slept all night, unlike a human baby. I tucked them in at night and released them in the morning. We kept the playpen for a couple of weeks.
I got them on my Mom’s birthday so chose to name one of them after her, Traci. I chose the one that was the most adventuresome and willing to try new things. That was my mother, she was always looking for the greener grass on the other side, and was on the move all of my lifetime with her. It was not a mistake to name one after my mother as these kittens have brought many lessons about my own childhood into perspective.
These three girl kittens felt like the right thing to do from the moment I saw the posting of them on Facebook. I have questioned my sanity several times, but I know this is what is meant to be for me at this time. There wasn’t any hesitation about taking all three. I couldn’t bear to separate them. Which one would I choose to leave behind? None of them, and the lessons have been rich. I will say right off the bat that it is teaching me more empathy for what my mother must have gone through at times.
Separated siblings is something that has been a part of my life through generations. I feel like this is my opportunity to heal that for my family. My Mom’s mother died when she was four. She was the youngest of four girls, the oldest was only nine. Two of the girls went to live with maternal grandparents out in Montana, the other set went to the paternal grandparents in Missouri where they had been living. My grandpa moved out to Montana to start a new life. He acquired property and started ranching/farming. He married his barren widowed sister-in-law. Her husband had died in the war and she had never had children of her own. Back in the 30’s, this was a common thing to do. He was a widowed farmer with three daughters and needed help. The sisters were reunited after several years apart, but the characteristics of children separated from a family unit were established.
My Mom passed on about a dozen years ago. The last of the four sisters passed away recently. There is no one to get more stories from. Mom was raised in the generation where they kept family stuff private. They didn’t talk about their problems. So much of what my Mom and her sisters went through are things I have to imagine or make up as I have a very active imagination.
I find it interesting that my mother didn’t have a solid connection to her sisters and the three daughters that she had, from two different marriages, did not have steady connections to each other. The youngest and the oldest mix like oil and water. I am the middle sister which put me in interesting positions. In the beginning, I was the little sister, then Mom got divorced from the alcoholic husband who beat her. Mom was a runner, and as such, her children didn’t always go with her. She left me with my grandparents and my older sister with her biological father. He didn’t want anything to do with me so I was raised feeling like a bastard child with no father.
Mom got married a third time and had two more children, so now I was the oldest sister, the one who had to fill in for my mother taking care of my siblings while she did whatever, because again she got divorced. The bond with my mother was not strong, I felt like she abandoned me time after time. So in getting these kittens, I am helping to heal abandonment issues. It is important for me to keep these siblings together. What pleasure these three little kittens have brought me at the same time they are healing me.