We found her in the backseat of our car when I was about 5 or 6, nursing three newborn kittens. Our landlord didn’t allow have pets, but my mom just couldn’t turn away. So we hid the kitties and named them all. Mama Kitty was soft, medium-haired, and gray, with a white bib and white paws and occasional patches of tan. We named the kittens Fluffy, Buffy and Muffy. My mom never got them fixed, and Muffy had herself a litter of kittens after about a year, and then shortly after that, Mama Kitty had another litter, bringing our cat total to 14! We named them, too, although we obviously could not keep that many cats at our place. The two I remember were Curious George, who was always getting out of the box to explore, and Butterscotch, my personal favorite.
One summery Saturday afternoon when the kittens were old enough, we had a yard sale and put all the kitties in a box marked “FREE.” Well, all the kitties minus one… My mom couldn’t give up sweet Mama Kitty. Not long afterward, we moved to a house where the landlord didn’t mind us having pets.
Mama Kitty loved to sit on our laps, or perch herself on the couch next to us, or sleep on our beds. She crept in so quietly that for months, I nearly had a heart attack when she jumped up into the bed with me. Eventually, I got tuned in enough to her almost-silent footsteps that I was semi-prepared for when she leaped up.
She liked to sleep on our pillows, and if I had freshly showered, she would sniff my hair forever and try to chew it. It drove her kitty ears crazy when we whistled. She would poke her fuzzy face right up against our lips, like a kitty kiss.
When she was early into her double-digits, she got really sick. I remember watching her bend her head down toward the water really really slowly, but she would never drink any. She got skinnier and skinnier and we got really worried about her. We finally took her to the vet, but it was too late. She died of kidney failure in my sister’s arms on the way there.
Mama Kitty was a great family cat and we all loved her. Miss you, kitty.