We notice things when Decca’s got the TV on. She thinks we’re sleeping next to her on the sofa, but we’re all ears even if our eyes are shut. So what we’ve been hearing a lot of lately is “special time for family.”
This holiday season, we are looking forward to time with our families, treats, gifts, lots of hugs and smiles — and did we mention gifts? And food?That got us to thinking about family. We haven’t seen our feline family since the day we left the farm where we were born. We were 12 weeks old when we came to live with Decca. But our human family is pretty big and grows. We’ve got Decca and her family and friends; our sitter, Cassie; everybody at the veterinarian who makes sure we’re healthy, though we don’t really like going to see them.
The one thing they all have in common is that they love us, fuss over us and take care of us (even Decca’s friends who say they are “allergic” to us — what is that?? And friends we don’t see very often, like Sherry, who brought us fabulous toys and who gave us the climber/napper tower with the carpeting that matches our eyes).
But that first family we left behind was pretty wonderful, too. Decca found a picture of our Mama Sophie that she snapped with her phone she came to meet us — we were so tiny then and now we’ve grown bigger than she is.
We’re hoping we can coax Decca to go back and get a photo of our papa. We didn’t spend much time with him, because he lived with his buddies in a big special “man cave” on the farm, while the mothers and little ones had the run of the house until we kittens were weaned. Then the mamas got to relax, while we went to live in the nursery with our aunts and cousins. That’s when we had the most fun, climbing, wrestling, meowing, and watching the crows and chickens and ponies and the outside cats, before we fell into a big kitten pile to nap.
Most Fridays we tweet “lessons from our mother,” but those patient aunties of ours taught us a lot as well. Mama Sophie schooled us in how to navigate the world, whether it was stalking our toys and food bowls (and her), sharing with our litter mates or learning the quirky, crazy things humans do. She showed us it was OK not to be afraid of the washing machine, the dishwasher, the blender, the vacuum cleaner or all the other loud things humans have in their houses. She also showed us by example how to let our humans know we love them — all it takes is a bump, a purr or a little kiss now and then.
It was the aunts, though, who had the harder task of teaching us to get along with others. From them we learned team work and playing fair. And they were a real comfort at night, when it was quiet and, tired from a busy day, we would remember we missed Mama Sophie.
The world community
Since Decca let us go on the Internet, we’ve discovered we have a third family. We’ve written about them here already — the friends we’ve found all over the world.
And from them, we learned about our fourth — and biggest — family: All the cats and dogs and other creatures out there who depend on each other — and us — sometimes
for their very lives. One at a time, we may not be able to do much for the cold, the homeless, the hungry, the endangered, but all of us little ones doing all our little bits can add up to mighty results.
Decca does things like “ring the bell” for the Salvation Army, donating clothes to Goodwill, buying locally grown food as much as possible and she encourages us to get important information out about good causes and organizations using Twitter.
We love retweeting important and inspiring messages and joining with others trying to make the world a better place for all creatures.
Giving what we canWe also accidentally found a way to help our local humane society more. Decca used to feed us special, rather expensive food (we won’t name it) and one day we both refused to eat it. She was unhappy with us, tried getting it from a different place, waited a couple of months and tried again — we just won’t eat it anymore. The food she found that we do like now is just as nutritional (she checked) but costs less. So that lets Decca give more to help the animals waiting for their forever homes!
We’ve been playing a lot more with crumpled paper, empty boxes and other fun things we find around the house; Decca’s smart — she’ll figure out we don’t need new toys in our Christmas stocking and give the money she didn’t spend to those who need it more.
What about you? Who is your family, and how will you celebrate the joys of the season with them?