Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday, 6 December

I feel I am becoming like one of those new mothers who takes hundreds of photographs of her newborn infant, all very much the same to an outsider. It is a sort of healing process for me, however, to document the health and growth of these four little kittens on a daily basis now. I daresay they will not change much until their eyes open, but it nonetheless gives me pleasure to photograph the tiny increments of growth each day.

At least I finally was able to move the bedding a little to turn it on the cleaner side for Beauty. She was slightly suspicious of it afterwards, even though it was the same duvet but accepted it ultimately as the home of her babies.

The tragedy in September has made me aware of every little nuance in the kittens' lives at this early stage. Although they squabble over the milk source, they nonetheless do bond with their littermates. When Beauty leaves the box temporarily to eat or drink, the kittens move into the traditional pile of bodies, snuggling together for warmth and comfort. How very different for the poor little premature kittens in September! Although the September kittens cried a little, it was a very different kind of cry, desperate and laboured. These little ones cry lustily when deprived of their desire, but their voices have no desperation in them. Strong little voices, capable of communicating DIFFERENT emotions... where the poor little ones in September were simply crying hopelessly and with some difficulty. I have heard a dozen different emotions from these kittens. They complain, they whine, they sulk and they articulate as they do battle with their siblings for a nipple. When their mother leaves the box, they usually are asleep, but if one awakens, he/she may cry out once or twice, but seldom with any urgency. Nonetheless, Beauty instantly returns if the kitten cries more than twice!

The photograph that I wished I could have captured was one of the kittens questing for the usual all-important centre of her existence, but finding her mother's mouth instead. It then appeared as though Mother Cat and Kitten kissed. It would have made a sweet photograph, even if that probably wasn't the true meaning. Anything warm and moist would have drawn the kitten... Beauty's mouth mistaken for a moment for another source of milk, no doubt...

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