I can’t navigate these peaks and valleys

Mom!! 

I grimace because my middle child interrupted my thoughts of food. What kind of monster does that, huh?

There’s a kitten crying in our yard and it’s really little and it’s crying and it’s… 

Oh man. Cats. I tell people I hate cats, but my college roommates and I had a cat and then I ended up taking care of a friend’s cat for almost a year, so maybe I don’t hate cats? But I am really allergic to them, like head exploding, violent eye scratching, I’m gonna die throat closing allergic to them.

I go out to investigate. Shit. This kitten’s eyes aren’t even open yet. It can’t be more than a week old. There is another kitten crying behind a bush. Double shit. I want to walk away and just go back in the house.

Where the fuck is the mom?  

Our neighborhood is like feral cat world. There are cats everywhere, usually terrorizing me and the dogs and jumping out from under my car when I least expect it and I wonder if I should start wearing adult diapers. Really.

But on this day, there are no cats in sight. It’s like they’re all at the bar airing their grievances about that Asian woman and her yappy little dogs they could kick the shit out of if they had a chance. Hello. 

I go back inside. 

Aren’t you going to do anything? 

My guilt goes from from guilty to fucking guilty.  

I explain to the boy how the mom cat will come back and take care of her children because that’s what they do, right? But a lump in my throat is telling me something else. 

Eight hours later, still no mom cat and lots of kitten crying. I bring them in the house because my conscience has been berating me all this time.

Fuck. Are those hives all over my face? Why can’t I breathe well? 

For three days, I bottle feed our new housemates. I nuzzle them, talk with them, keep them safe and warm.

I don’t like cats. My head aches, like hangover pain. My throat itches – where is that garden claw? My eyes are red and watery and I want to knife them out. 

But these kittens are. . . cute and loving and even the dogs don’t mind having them around. 

I look around the interwebs for litter boxes. The next thing I know, I’m on an IKEA hack site and dream of building this pretty hideaway litter box.

Carl says, “You know we can’t keep them, right?” I see him massage his temples and at least I don’t have to suffer alone when it comes to cat allergies?

A day later, Carl finds a home for the grey kitten. I interrogate him about the new parents: Have they ever had cats before? Why don’t they want both of them? Do they know how to take care of kittens? How many current pets do they have and are they current on their shots? Just give me their social security number and I’ll run a background check on them.

For another few days, the tabby is fine and getting bigger and bigger. I imagine it playing with the dogs and it makes me smile. 

Despite my reluctance, the kids finally name her, we think it’s a her, Amelia Pond – Pond for short – because the tabby reminds them of Amelia’s red hair. Gingers unite! Their obsession with Doctor Who is not a healthy one. 

So we all hold cradle and nuzzle Pond and there’s lots of love going on this room right now and I think I should probably bake some cookies.

And then. . .

Well, things go downhill. Apparently there’s this horrible sounding thing called fading kitten syndrome. There is nothing we can do despite desperate searches on the interwebs and contact with vets. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming.

I can’t think about it for too long because the whole fucking thing just makes me too sad. 

Our Amelia Pond is gone.

I need to find a TARDIS, travel back in time and somehow bring Pond back. 

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