Monday, March 27, 2006
Ginger popped that Saturday night. Well, spluttered might be a better word for it. It started at 9:15 PM and continued intermittently until midnight, when I was finally able to go to bed with the delicious anticipation of knowing that I would be scooping the poop of four more cats for the next 15- 20 years.
Actually, the whole thing really started earlier that afternoon, when Jena announced that today was the day. Ginger was breathing heavily and looking for places to hide. What's more, she advised us, we were all to be on our own for the day, because Ginger was going to need her.
Now, I have been known to breathe heavily and look for places to hide, but Jena never decided to stick close to me on those occasions. Regardless, after two weeks of any day now and the National Cuddly Kitten Day fiasco, I for one was going to reserve judgment until after the Great Moment.
But that didn't prevent me from trying to stir up a little excitement. As one after another 10-year-old boy trooped in that day for a combined marathon play date and kitten vigil, I advised each of them that Ginger was "about to pop" any minute now! They would then look at me with wide eyes, and I was having a great time until one of them asked me, "What does that mean?"
One of the great things about 10 year old boys is that they are incapable of sarcasm. Whenever I embroider things a bit, they either role their eyes or take me seriously. If a teenager were to ask me "What does that mean?" it would have been with an intonation that made it clear I was an idiot. So it wasn't until Matthew asked me very seriously "What does that mean?" that I realized how idiotic the phrase "about to pop" was.
Otherwise, the day went by uneventfully, except that occasionally I would stick my head into Ginger's room (it hasn't been called the "guest" room for several days now) only to see Jena and Ginger sitting side by side on the bed, with Ginger's paw on Jena's leg. Jena explained that every time she tried to move away from her, Ginger would meow and look up at her with pleading eyes. She definitely didn't want Jena to leave. It was also on one of those visits when Jena announced that she wanted to keep Ginger. Ouch.
Later that evening around 9:15, with Sean and Ty staying for a sleepover -- their friend AJ had been dragged off under stiff protest by a parent earlier that day -- and with me upstairs cleaning up after making dinner for the boys, Jena whispered into the baby monitor that Ginger had just given birth to her first kitten. Actually, I was only told this later, with much exasperation, because the truth is I hadn't heard a thing, probably because I had long since trained myself to ignore the baby monitor.
As a consequence, Jena had to pull herself from Ginger's side to let the rest us know that Ginger had had her first Great Moment. Jena had decided that it would be too disruptive to have all of us barge in on Ginger simultaneously, so the boys lined up for their turn outside Ginger's room with a natural amount of pushing and shoving, and that's how it went for each of the three subsequent Great Moments. Logan happened to be in the room when the third one popped, to his delight. Cooper then decided he wanted to see a Great Moment too, so Jena let him into the room on the condition that he be absolutely quiet. He did this so well that he had nodded off when the fourth and final kitten popped so suddenly that even Jena didn't see it. Cooper then retreated with considerable disgust. He of course confessed afterwards that he didn't really want to see a Great Moment, but it obviously galled him that Logan had see one.
Jena midwifed Ginger through each of the Great Moments, all 3 1/2 hours of them. Since we had fixed up Ginger in a box inside the closet, Jena had to assume an unnatural position in order to be by Ginger's side the whole time. If it had tried it, I would be hospitalized today with a slipped disk.
On second thought, if it had been up to me, nothing of the sort would have happened, because I would have left Ginger to her own devices on the grounds that cats had been doing it on their own for millions of years. But then, what do I know?