Oct 13, 2005

It Ain't Easy

Well, it ain't easy being cheesy either, but what I was getting at was that it ain't easy being a Daddy Cat.

Biological parent I am. Surrogate parent I am. Foster parent I have been, with a lot of help, to four little orange tabby refugees from Hurricaine Katrina. I'm told I've even been sort of a Father Confessor. But never have I been a Daddy Cat, until just a few days ago.

You recall the kitten-down-the-wall episode, and if you don't I'm certain you can scroll down just a post or two and get that drift. Well, wee bit, being of the 3-4 week old variety, is still on mother's milk rather than solid food, and still requires stimulation to urinate and defecate. And to whom do these duties fall? Well, both of us, actually, but to me for a fair share this time, which is the difference.

See, back when Egan was still 'Baby Evil,' the wife was the only one who dealt with the two-day old E Kitty Larvae. I was, quite frankly, afraid of hurting it. Tiny is not a small enough word for Baby E. Add the piteous cries, the struggling, flailing limbs, and the utter helplessness of that tiny, pale white cat made me feel that any assistance I attempted to render would be doomed to failure, and if I failed this tee-tiny little thing it would be catastrophic, no pun intended.

Now keep in mind that I've had my stint as a human father, too. I can recall many long nights holding my baby daughter, rocking her back to sleep after a bottle and a ponderous belch, and I recall all too well the feeling that she was so very small she'd be easily damaged. Fortunately I was wrong, and I eventually got over those feelings. Now that she's eleven, I felt I was pretty much past all that hair-pulling and yelling. Well, I was wrong.

I've got them again, you see, over this kitten. And I am getting over them, again, with this kitten. Luckily for me she's beyond the infant stage and can do for herself to some extent, but there's still a lot she can't manage, and while she is already old enough to sleep through the night she still requires feeding every few hours during the day, along with an extended (usually an hour) play period. So, I find myself missing breakfast and morning blogging and mylunch hour because I'm to be found painfully crosslegged in the den, syringing upwards of 20cc's of KMR kitten formula down a seemingly bottomless gullet, and trying to fill the paws of a Daddy Cat to a wee kitten. I do my best to tickle and play with her gently, letting her attack my fingers and such, and I try to be gentle with her when I have to flip her on her back to rub her bits with a paper towel to make her void her tiny, yet full bladder. And like fatherhood, it's starting to grow on me, and even offers some touching rewards, like welcoming purrs and nuzzles. Yesterday I found myself overjoyed at the sight of a tiny bottom producing an English pea-sized stool--our first potty together.

Boy do I need to get a life.

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