Stunning multi-media glass work by Shelley Muzylowski Allen.
Leave it to a glorious Harvest Moon to give Lorca the extra push/pull she needed to have her kittens! On the couch, surrounded by a passel of curious critters and her doting humans.
Last night, just after 8:00 p.m., the first of her tiny furry quartet popped into the world. With a yowl that woke all the other critters – and probably half the neighborhood – she gave birth to a little ginger kitten! Instincts kicking in, she cleaned him up and the tyke latched onto Mom for dear life and his first meal. (I say he/him/his for all of them, but it’s really too early to tell.)
Then Lorca relaxed, slept a bit, and, bingo, out came #2 around 8:30 – another ginger!
Mom did her thing and kicked back for a while – slept, had her belly rubbed, etc….10:00 p.m. and #3 arrives. At first we thought he was all black, but as he was cleaned and dried off, it became apparent that he’s a gorgeous black and silver tabby. Jennifer immediately claimed him as the one to stay, and named him Whitman.
It was fast getting past my bedtime, but I wanted to stay up for a couple more hours, just to be sure all was well and no more bundles were on the way. By 1:00, we put her and the kids in their box on clean bedding and I left Jennifer – who stays up ’til dawn anyway – to watch them through the night.
Their first day in the world is going well. Everyone is hungry – nay, ravenous! Lorca is the sweetest mom, loves being the center of attention and doesn’t even mind Carter and Poe dropping by to visit. I think she may have been stung by a bee, though, as her right paw inexplicably swelled this morning and she’s favoring it. A call to the vet in the morning if it hasn’t improved over night (though I can’t imagine her wanting to leave her kids for even a moment).
Thanks to everyone who participated in the kitten pool. A special congrats to the winner, Nancy Adams! I will be contacting you about your prize shortly.
Now, I will try to relax. An early night, tonight, for all.
Well, mom-to-be Lorca is filling out by leaps and bounds.
Over morning coffee I watched Lorca’s kittens play internal bongos on her tummy. No idea how many there are, but I can attest to their wicked sense of rhythm
Do join in on the Kitten Pool fun. Just guess their birthdate (between now and October 1) and number in Lorca’s litter, and leave it in a comment here or on the Lorca Kitten Pool Page – where you will also find the pool calendar. Don’t worry, I’ll find you. 🙂
The person who comes closest wins their choice of a signed copy of one of my books, The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook or Dragons for Beginners, or a limited edition chapbook of my short story, “Because the Pleasure-Dragon Whistles.”
Kittens and Dragons, what could be better.
In the Realm of the Senses
“Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert.” …. Sir William Osler, M.D., C.M.
Last night I was watching the cats play with the chinchillas (a special birthday treat for the kittens). Claws sheathed, eyes wide, ears forward, whiskers twitching, and mouths open to taste the air, they were totally in the now, absorbing the experience with every sense at their disposal. The chins, too.
Oh, the lessons we learn from our companion critters everyday!
Try though we might to place ourselves on a separate, gilded rung of the evolutionary ladder, we human beings are still animals. Like other furred, feathered, or scaled creatures, we still count on our senses to guide us through the world. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, they layer our existence, give it depth and intrigue. They teach us what is safe, what is deadly, what is sexy, what is repulsive. Indeed, without well-honed perceptions, we would surely be as dead as the dodo.
Curiously, though we live by our senses, many writers have forgotten to write by them. Oh, we communicate through sight, sure. We are highly visual creatures. The aspects of person or place, the colors, shadows, shapes, all are accessible, familiar, and easy to share. Sound usually comes in second, then the other senses fill out the field from afar.
But why should this be? We do not live in half worlds, why should we write in them?
Just imagine if we wrote with all our senses, all the time; if we returned to our animal selves with ears up, nostrils flared, gleaning and giving information at every turn. A Victorian sitting room, for example, may be all teak and William Morris wallpaper to the eye, but perhaps it also smells of lemon oil and stale pipe tobacco, the chair by the fireplace creaking ever so gently when sat upon. This tells the reader so much more than a visual description alone. The resident has taste and a comfortable income; they take pride in their environment, keep it well. As for the lingering scent of tobacco – scent being one of the most evocative of the senses – oh, that can go a hundred ways! A father lost in the Crimea, his spirit conjured by the slightest whiff of his favorite chair; a pretentious brother who fancies himself the next Sherlock Holmes but went up to Oxford at Michaelmas.
Layers, one on another…
We are writers. Our purpose is to communicate, to move, to inspire. We take our knowledge of the world and give it back, limited only by our imaginations. So why stop with familiar? Why not go all topsy-turvy? We can focus, perhaps, not on how a city looks, but on how it tastes; not on how a thunderstorm sounds, but on how it smells. And let us not forget the rasping tongue of a whisper or the intricate fugue of a meteor shower.
As Dr. Osler said, learn to hear, to see, to smell. Dig deep; use all your senses. And next time you write about the first green shoots of spring, do not ignore their verdant voices raised to the heavens in paeans of rebirth. Welcome to the Big Picture. Have fun.
So, someone slipped horseraddish into the the kitten’s cat nip and, as a result, the Chanukah bush is in need of repair. Personally, I think it was Boon – her wings get into a twist now and then over all the attention lavished upon the little furry ones. She forgets how she was the centre of the universe when first out of her egg. Furred, feathered, and scaled, all creatures are cherished.
Carter and Poe were hanging out the other day, as is their way, just bouncing to the Beatles.
Unfortunately, Parker was off chasing his tail – he’s surprisingly camera shy – but I am hoping to coax him out for a future video.
P.S. Carter wanted you to know – in no uncertain terms – about the book sale. All proceeds go the the kitten neuter fund.
It came time to make room on my bookshelves–let go of a few old friends I haven’t talked to in a long, long time. Sad, but true.
Plus, it’s time to worry about the Poe, Parker, & Carter Neutering Fund.
Check out Books For Sale for a list of titles. All very reasonable, I assure you.
And this is just the beginning! I will be adding a slew of paperbacks to the list as soon as I catalogue them.
Browse at your leisure–you might just find a treasure or two.
Well, I’ve been holding off posting an update on Gatsby and her boys, Poe, Parker (who used to be Scout), and Carter. Today, as the mercury rises, I figured it was as good a time as any to put a progress report into the wilds of Cyberia.
As you can see, they are all on solid food, though they still enjoy bottle treats when offered. Baby Carter has everyone wrapped around his little white paws–something about his miniature stature and wise, wise visage. Not that Poe and Parker get short changed, by any means. In fact, as the eldest, Poe insisted on his own picture here:
As for the rest…Enjoy the following video. And forgive the schmaltz. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the kids and a Melissa Etheridge song.