Raising Buffy

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I don’t quite remember my age but I’m thinking 6 or 7.  My brother, 5 1/2 years older than me, had been exploring in our Grandparents barn, and decided to surprise me with the most beautiful gray and white kitten I had ever laid eyes on.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was.  You see, according to my Mother, I came into the world an animal lover, so having this tiny little kitten placed in my hands was almost more than my heart could stand.  She was purrfect in every way!

I decided to name her Buffy…no idea why except that I just liked that name.  Oh yes, and I was a huge fan of the sitcom of that day called, ‘Family Affair’ in which a pig tailed little girl, about my age, also bore that name.  All the way around, I thought the name was a perfect fit for my furry little girl.

I played with Buffy every single day and, while my parents and brother didn’t give her the level of attention I wanted them to, they all liked her and treated her as a vital member of the family.  I treated her like the baby she was for as long as she allowed it but somehow, kittens grow up very quickly and turn into cats who can be very averse to being wrapped in a baby blanket and carted in a doll stroller.  But…even though the baby days were over, I found other fun and creative ways to enjoy my feline friend.  She was definitely a joy to have around and definitely loved our family.

Late one evening, as I was watching TV with my family, I heard meowing at the back door.  I immediately recognized it being Buffy but didn’t think much of it until the volume and frequency of the meow quickly escalated in a way that left no doubt something was going on.  I rushed to the door and, to my shock and absolute delight, there was a newborn kitten on the step.  I began squealing for my Mother who was almost as excited as I was when she saw the tiny gift Buffy was clearly presenting to us.

As always, my Mother knew just what to do.  She quickly found a long, deep box that could be laid on its side in the back corner of the garage.  She placed a couple of soft towels in the very back of the box and gently placed the single baby kitten in the box as Buffy looked on approvingly.  It was well past my bedtime but Mother assured me all would be well and I could check on the kitten as soon as I woke up the next morning.  Needless to say, I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours that night but finally drifted off to sleep for a short cat nap…pun intended. 🙂

The next morning, as soon as my eyes popped open, I shot out of bed like a bullet.  I couldn’t wait to check on Buffy and her kitten.  In my mind, I kept thinking something might have gone wrong during the night.  Perhaps the kitten had gotten too cold in the box or perhaps a predator had gotten into the garage and killed the helpless baby.  All kinds of fears circled in my mind…UNTIL….I walked slowly and quietly out the back door and peeped into the long, deep box my Mother had carefully selected and placed in the corner.  Eeeekkkk, I squealed!!!  There’s more kittens, there’s more kittens!!!!!  I was over the moon with excitement!!

In all her wisdom, our sweet Buffy knew that she was loved and knew she could trust us to help care for her babies.  She had used the one little kitten to let us know what was going and to solicit our help,  then she quickly and confidently brought 5 more babies, one by one, to the warm and peaceful safe-haven my Mother had prepared for her.  She was a perfect little mommy and did such a good job raising her babies.

That event was the first of several more evenings when we would hear Buffy at our back door sounding that familiar little meow over and over until one of her trusted humans opened the door and acknowledged the newest kitten being gifted to us.  My Mother was always ready with another box and towels and Buffy was always ready to bring the rest of the siblings just as soon as their safe haven was set-up and met her approval.

Buffy was an amazing cat that I loved dearly and I will always have fond memories of those innocent childhood days when I learned so much from her about the importance of love and trust.  And to think….I thought I was just having fun with my cat.