Six years ago, I adopted a kitten to cheer my son up after some serious life changing developments. Rohan was 7 years old then, and it didn’t take long for him to get used to this amazing creature that was half Persian (from maternal side) and half tabby(from paternal side). We named her “Bidik” which means “Minnie,” and she became a family member quickly.
I lived most of my life with cats, and as I describe in my book Dream Tiger, I slept with a group of cats in the streets for a long time, like a modern Tarzan in a city environment, living with stray cats instead of apes. I also had more than half a dozen pet cats at home so far. However, Bidik was far more graceful and probably the most noble one among all of them.
She would walk on the top of my bookcase filled with knick-knacks, and she would never drop any of them, she was so careful. When she was treated for parasites short after we adopted her, I remember she even asked for a container to vomit (yeah, not kidding, she waited for the container). She was really different.
But none of these was the most striking attribute she had. As a matter of fact, a little bit frustration on our part, she couldn’t get along with other cats, mostly because she grew up with humans, and she was essentially alien to her own kind. Whenever I had to leave her with my veterinarian friend Cigdem, let’s say for a weekend getaway, she would stay in her cage, and never would mingle with other cats who resided Cigdem’s clinic quite freely. Honestly, with all the grace she had, she could be quite nasty when angry. Once she bit my arm during a stressful operation at the clinic, and I found two deep fang holes in my skin afterwards.
One morning when she was 2 years old, I heard some tiny mewing from outside the house. When I look through the window, I realized there was a kitten hiding under some large construction pipes, and it was screaming its lungs out, probably because it was lost and hungry. I went out to help, and surprisingly enough, there wasn’t one, but two of them, and they were quite friendly. Two black kittens (one had white patches all around his body) ran to me and my son as soon as they heard us, apparently in need of food. However, they weren’t even one month old, and not able to feed themselves even when we put some milk in front of them: they should have been fed with the help of syringes!
With no hesitation, I gave Cigdem a call right away, and she told me that we need to take them in, or they wouldn’t make it through the night outside. That’s what we did, even if I didn’t know how to handle three cats in an apartment. Moreover, I had to protect them from Bidik, because I knew she was aggressive against other cats. Considering how tiny they were, she could grab and swallow them as a whole. All I knew was I couldn’t have left them there.
We took them inside, we fed and cleaned them, and they were quite happy. We named the male black-and-white one as Panda, and the other jet black female as Silk.
As expected, Bidik’s first reaction was hissing and growling as soon as she saw them. So I took her to my study, and left the babies in the living room. After dinner, seeing the duo was doing good enough – they were fed, warmed, and playing joyfully – I wanted to have a test, because Bidik was on the top of my wardrobe, and she refused coming down. If you are familiar with cats, I’m sure you’re also familiar with their “attitude.” (“You adopted some other cats; I’m not talking to you!” Yeah, seriously, not kidding.) Therefore, I had to find a way to put her at ease.
I brought her to the living room, and Rohan got Panda in hand. Silk was playing on her own at a little distance. Quite in a controlled manner, we brought them close, me holding Bidik carefully so that she wouldn’t harm the baby, because she was in all-charge mode again.
But then, when she got a wisp of the baby’s scent, smelling the air towards it, I noticed a drastic change in her attitude. She stopped hissing and growling at once, and began smelling carefully, reaching for him with her head. Quite hesitantly, I brought her closer to Panda, trying to keep things under control, but what happened then was something I would always remember. It was a miraculous moment!
Bidik, who has never given birth herself, who was always defensive or aggressive with other cats, licked the top of Panda’s head, and the baby was trying to free herself from Rohan’s hands to reach for Bidik’s empty nipples. Moreover, Bidik was very eager to nurse them both! Suddenly, they were trying to bury themselves under her, and she was grooming them both!
It was beyond touching for our part, but I couldn’t leave her with the babies, so after a while, I took her to my study again, leaving the babies in the living room to sleep. It was around 10 pm, and I would work until late hours at night, so I could keep an eye on Bidik in my own study with the door closed. But what happened after a while was even more miraculous than what happened before: Bidik was standing in front of the door of my study, and begging me to open it!
I realized she wanted to go and check the babies with the enthusiasm of new founded motherhood. So I took her to the living room to let her see the babies under my supervision. They both were sleeping on the couch. She smelled them, and began grooming again. She seemed like wishing to make sure they were alright. I kept her with them for like ten minutes, but I couldn’t risk leaving the three of them alone. I took Bidik back to my study, and got back to my work again. However, ten minutes later, she was begging me to open the door again. She was restless. So I took a break from work, and took her to the living room once again.
Believe it or not, this cycle repeated for three times more until I surrendered and left her there with the babies, even if I was still a little bit nervous. Before I went to bed after midnight, I checked them for the last time, and saw all three of them sleeping snuggled to each other.
When I woke up in the morning, they were still there. Upon hearing my footsteps, Bidik raised her head, and gave me a look saying, “See? I’m a mother now!”
THIS IS VERY PROFESSIONAL!
More tidbits coming in future articles, meant to spur you on to create momentous moments!
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