53: The Bond of Sisters

53: The Bond of Sisters

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?

The Bond of Sisters

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.

~Louisa May Alcott

Puma and Kovu were tabby cats with soft gray and black fur that striped and swirled in unique patterns. My sister adopted them both, as they were sisters from the same litter. They lived in an apartment along with my cat, Dakota. Dakota was a beautiful orange male tabby. We decided we’d better get Dakota fixed but it turned out we were too late. Three or four weeks after Dakota’s procedure, we realized Puma was getting big around the middle. Another week later we knew she was pregnant. We got things ready for the kittens and highly anticipated them for weeks.

I woke up in the early hours one morning to Puma meowing softly and nudging my hand. It was time! Puma was very clingy and tried to get as close as she could to me. I had to keep taking her out of my bed and putting her into her pet bed, which she only stayed in when I sat next to it. Eventually the first kitten came.

To watch a birthing process is amazing. How the instincts of the animal kick in and they seem to know exactly what to do. Once the first kitten was out and getting licked by mom, Kovu and Dakota were right there, curious as to what was going on. I was scared they would hurt the kittens, so I shut them in my sister’s room while she slept. When I walked back into my room, Puma was meowing and walked over to the closed door the other two cats were behind. I picked her up and put her back in her bed as well as the kitten she had in the middle of the room; however, she wouldn’t stay. She kept going back to the closed door, meowing. And as in answering her, Kovu was meowing and reaching her paw under the door.

After several times carrying Puma back to her bed and trying to get her to stay there with her newborn kittens, I gave up with a huff. “Have it your way!” I opened the door and Kovu shot out straight to her sister. They meowed at each other, then Puma led the way into the pet bed and curled up with her kittens, which now totaled three. She touched each one with her nose and looked at Kovu like she was showing them off. Kovu lay down next to the pet bed with her head inside and began to lick one of the kittens. She probably would have crawled right in with Puma, but there wasn’t enough room. That is how the rest of the morning went: Puma had four more kittens. She was exhausted and focused on birthing while Kovu stepped in and took over the chore of cleaning each kitten dry.

As the kittens grew, Kovu was in the bed as often as the mother of the litter. She enjoyed keeping them warm and giving each kitten a bath when Mom needed a break. She let the kittens suck on her too though she most likely wasn’t producing milk, but neither of the parties seemed to mind. When Puma came back and crawled in, Kovu jumped out. It was a joy seeing the kittens grow up and interact with their mom and aunt.

To this day, I realize just how important it was to Puma to have her sister share that special moment with her. And how important it was to Kovu to be there and help out when her sister couldn’t continue doing what she needed to do. They were there for each other. That is a true sister bond that survives through all the years, no matter what.

~Alicia Penrod

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