Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Beginning

I am a cat. My name is Martha. I like people.

I live in a campground and get to see lots of people.

I remember long ago before I could see. I was in a warm place with my mom cat. She fed me and cleaned me and took care of me. I remember the sound of her purring while I ate. I remember the feel of her sandpaper tongue licking me. I remember feeling safe while I was with her.

One day my eyes opened and I could see! I saw my mom cat! She was beautiful. Her fur was sleek and black and her eyes shown like emeralds. She would pick me up gently in her mouth and move me from place to place. We lived in the woods in a campground. I had a brother cat, too. He was gray and white like me.

Then came the big machine that made lots of noise. The earth vibrated under us and my mom cat got busy looking for a new place to hide us kittens. She took my brother cat first and told me she would return for me. I was all alone. I wasn't too scared. I knew she would come back to get me. But, before she could get back to me something happened!

I stayed right where my mom cat left me and was waiting patiently when, all of a sudden, I was being lifted high in the air! There were branches under me and over me. Up, up, up I went. I was scared now. I could feel myself starting to fall. I tried to hold on, but I didn't know how.

PLUNK! I hit the ground. It knocked my breath out of me and I am ashamed to say that I also soiled my fur. Before I could blink and take stock of my situation, I felt some hands lifting me. "Oh, no," I thought, "am I going to fall again?" The hand that held me was steady and suddenly there was some soft cloth around me. Then I was moving. Faster than I had ever moved before.

I was still stunned from my fall and I could hear voices and then a chime. The man holding me was handing me over to a woman inside a building. I heard the man ask what we should do, then I heard the woman say to give the little kitten to her. I looked up and saw her. She looked at me and moved all of my legs, then she told me I was fine, just fine. She also told me I only had 8 lives left.

The woman is called Gramma. She took me to a sink and washed me. She talked to me the whole time, saying I would thank her later. She said I had ticks on my little self and she got them all off. I did feel better after what she called a bath. She held me close and kissed the top of my head, then she asked me what in the world was she going to do with me.

The men went to look for my mom cat and brother cat, but could not find them. Gramma asked all the campers to be on the lookout for my mom cat. She said I needed my mother's milk so that I could be healthy. She asked all the campers if the wanted a kitten. Nobody wanted me. Nobody.

Gramma told Papa (Papa lives with Gramma) to hold me and she went into the kitchen for awhile. When she came back she had a syringe and a small glass with formula in it. She swaddled me in a towel and introduced me to the art of eating from a syringe, telling me that she would buy a proper kitten bottle the next day.

At first I did not want to swallow this stuff she called formula. I choked a little on it, but Gramma was very patient as she fed me. After I ate enough to please her, Gramma held me up to her neck and made a purring noise while she patted my back. I did not know that people could purr! I burped and fell asleep while Gramma held me.

When I woke up I was hungry again, but my tummy was hurting. I had to pee, but did not know how. Gramma took care of that, too. Not like my mom cat, but it felt the same.

The next day several people offered to take me home with them, but Gramma said that she had bonded with me and she would be keeping me. All kinds of hands held me. Big hands, little hands, wet hands, cold hands and warm hands. I felt the safest in Gramma's hands. Gramma's hands were soft and kind. They were the hands that fed me and the hands that cleaned me up.

Gramma asked one man holding me if I was a boy or a girl. He flipped me over and spread my back legs ............ "it's a girl" he said. I am not a girl, but I cannot talk, so I didn't say anything. Gramma looked closely at me and said, "Her name is Martha. I will name her after my friend, Martha. It is a good strong name and this is a good strong kitten. Besides that, there is a big "M" on her forehead."

That is how I got my name. I like my name. Gramma uses it a lot. Whenever I can't see Gramma and I meow, she will call out, "Martha, come here, Martha. I am over here."

And that is the story of my name.

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