Kittens and the preparation of motherhood

Little Milo

We are on the home stretch and it feels amazing.  Jay is staying with us and it is so good to have her home.  She is miserable, of course.  Being nearly 35 weeks pregnant, unable to sleep and not in your own bed will do that to a person.  But I am loving having her here.  Mothers need their daughters as much as daughters need their mothers.  I miss having another woman in the house.  It is fun having girly things to talk about and we do find lots to talk about.

Jay has bought herself a new kitten.  Of course, we parents advised against it.  She is about to have a baby after all.  But Jay was adamant.  Em’s sister got a new kitten a few weeks ago and since then Jay has been obsessed with getting one.  Personally, I think it is the mothering instinct that is coming to the fore.  She is getting to the stage where she just needs something to nurture.  Being 19, she couldn’t wait for the few weeks until Baby C makes his appearance, so she wangled a kitten.

It is a cute kitten.  They call it tortoise shell, I think, but to me it looks like it has the genes of every coloured cat going – black, ginger, white, grey – it’s all in there.  Jay has named her Milo.  Of course, because Jay is living with us, so is Milo.  Dee hates cats.  This does pose a problem.  My two dogs also do not like cats.  Another problem.  So Milo is currently living in our bathroom, with frequent periods of reprieve when Jay feels the need for a cuddle.

Dee has taken a couple of days off work as we need some “us” time.  When Dee booked the leave, we had not realised that Jay (and Milo) would be staying with us.  There is no “us” time happening.  “Remind me why I took leave right now.” he says.

“Well, when you booked it, Jay was stable and we were going to have a few days together before the baby came.  That was then, this is now.  Now it is the three of us.”

Dee is not really impressed.  We need some intimacy and having Jay at home isn’t helping that cause.  We love having her, of course, but us parents desperately need some “us” time.

Jay walks into the lounge.  “Hi love, how did you sleep?”

“Not well.  Milo had me awake at 7am!”

I laugh.  Could this be a good precursor to what to expect when the baby comes.  Jay does not see the humour.  Oh, the 19 year old mind!  I am being condescending, but I don’t care.  I remember what it was like to be 19 and how I thought the everything was about me.  Jay is no different, even if she is having a baby.  She will adapt, of course, but for now, she doesn’t really have to.

“Tee has invited us to her house for a couple of days.  Will you look after Milo?”

“No, I’m afraid I won’t.” I say.  This is the tough part of motherhood.  In reality I have no issue with looking after Milo, but Dee has taken time off to be with me.  It wouldn’t be fair to be tied to a kitten for the remainder of his time off, and Jay needs to learn that if she chooses to take on a living  being, she has to make tough decisions sometimes to look after it.  I feel horrible for saying no.

Jay wanders back to her room and returns a few minutes later with Milo in tow.  “I spoke to Em.  I’m not going to go to Tee’s.  She is looking after someone else’s dog and doesn’t really want to have another kitten there as well.”  She seems to accept that she has had to make this decision to look after Milo.  I still feel horrible.  Oh, the joys of motherhood.  Even when your own baby is having a baby, it isn’t easy.

The day is cold and horrible.  We were due to try and sort out the nursery today.  I don’t really feel up to it because my back is playing up and I am in quite a bit of pain.  However, “Do you want to go through to your house today to do the nursery?”  I ask.

“Actually, Mum, is it okay if we skip it today.  I’m feeling really heavy and tired.  It is so cold, I just would like to sit at home and relax, if that is okay.”  I say a silent thank you to the universe.

“If that’s what you want, my love, that is what you will have.”

We snuggle up on the sofa together.  Milo is desperately trying to escape, meowing with each new attempt.  My dogs look on with curiosity.  I wander at whether I should just let Milo go and hope they won’t attack her.  They don’t seem to want to do anything bad to her.  I suggest it to Jay.  “Mum!  No!  How could you even think such a thing?  I’m not putting her at risk like that!”  I suddenly feel stupid for even suggesting it.  Me, the child, Jay, the adult.

I smile.  Yes, indeed, she is learning.  Learning the joys of motherhood!

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