Shira is an excellent mom-cat. She rarely leaves her babies the first few weeks (unlike Talia, who seems to need some “me time” every day.) She watches them like a hawk and comes running at the first sound of distress – even when they are nearly old enough to go to their new homes. She nurses them until they leave. She teaches them to hunt. But one thing Shira doesn’t do is play.

No, motherhood is a serious responsibility. Playing, except for teaching the kids to hunt, is for kittens. Mom-cats need to watch over their babies, not wrestle and chase around like a child. No amount of ear biting, tail swatting, or pouncing from under the bed on the part of the babies can convince Shira to play and be silly.

But watch out when the fur kids leave. All that pent up play and goofiness has been waiting for just this day. She’s free!

Shira is soon spotted chasing wildly from room to room in pursuit of who knows what. The catnip-filled mouse flies through the air, tossed high by the now-irresponsible mother. The stairways become a racetrack for testing and improving her times between bedroom and office. Often she carries a fuzzy ball with her, suitable for an uninhibited play session on the bathroom floor where the ball will slide delightfully well. She leaps up in the air whacking insects, spots, or imaginary prey on the wall. If only her kids could see her now!

I thought it was just Shira continuing her kittenhood after the Rainstorm Kids left last year. She was only a year and a half old – not nearly grown up. But I think this year’s empty nest celebration has been even more remarkable. She is truly enjoying not having to take care of those naughty kids any more. As a mom of grown children, I know just how she feels.

(--> Cat Tails, Pg27)

2003 lisa s vasa

 

(Please note that you will see a number of photos of our cats and kittens that I've taken outside in a natural setting. The LostWoods cats do NOT go outside unsupervised! When we do go outside for pictures and occasional adventures, there is always one person and usually two watching them closely. We do have an outside, fully enclosed run to which the older cats are allowed access, but even then we check on them often.)

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