kitten stories

The Heart of a Kitten

I need to update you on the state of the kitten.


Remember the kitten? Blitz?

He’s two years old now. I still call him the kitten even though, technically, he’s bigger than Seth, the other cat. He’ll always have that fear of starving the way he did when he was tiny. But he’s not eating kitten kibble any more. Being called the kitten is totally about attitude.


Seth manages the household with a serious face. Blitz manages to look cute.

This morning, when my alarm went off, Blitz rubbed against the door, the cabinet, the heater on the wall, just in case I found any loose cookies up there in the cabinet that I could give him. Cute, but not really that cute yet.

Then, when I sat down to write my three morning pages, he leaped onto the desk on top of my notebook and pushed his head into my hands. Then, he rolled around as I petted him. He swatted at my pen, at my flower magnet, and at a rock that held down an old Polaroid of Amsterdam that I found among Mike’s grandma’s photos. I took the rock away from him and put it back on the corner of the Polaroid. He knocked it off again. He really wanted that rock. It was a good rock, the best rock, my rock. In the meantime, Seth walked past, shook his tail, allowed me to pet him once, then glared Teddy out of his oversized dog bed. Then, as Blitz squirmed and encouraged me to pet him more, Seth sat like a sphinx and stared at me in the expanse of bed.

After ten minutes of intensive petting, I gave up on my three pages of writing and went upstairs to make my smoothie and Nick’s lunch. Most days, it goes like this. On the stairs, Blitz raced ahead of me. At the top step, he fell over, rolled onto his back and looked down at me with his front paws curled inward. Think sea otter with dots and dashes across his belly. When I finally got to the top, I sat down and rubbed his belly, really rubbed his belly. It’s so soft. I can’t help it.

Then, I got up and went into the kitchen. Nick hunched over a bowl of Cheerios. I patted his shoulder, hoping it wasn’t too much contact for a teenage boy. I opened the fridge. It was too bright in there. Mike had put last night’s dinner into lunch containers, so all I had to do was wash an apple, pull out a little carton of milk and I was done. Yay! After I made my smoothie, I turned on the computer and prepared to look at emails I’d ignored all week.

Just then, Nick got up and wandered toward the top of the stairs. Blitz ran over to his spot and fell onto his back. Nick bent over and petted him while murmuring to him. I loved hearing that tone of voice coming out of my rugged teenager. He picked him up and set him onto the banister, a place Blitz couldn’t jump to on his own. Seth could. Then, Blitz sat there while Nick held him in a loose hug.

“He’s purring, Mom,” Nick said.

“Of course he is,” I replied without looking away from the computer. “He loves you.” I felt a little guilty at my inattention and spun around in my seat. It was a Kodak moment. I resisted. The teenager still didn’t tolerate many mom photos.

Teddy got off the couch, came over to the left side of my chair, and sat down. He groaned. I looked over at where he’d been and Seth sat there as if it was his birthright. Asshole. Nick went into the bedroom with Mike and I opened up my inbox to begin to figure out which emails I had to address and which ones I could ignore. Junk mail littered inner space, would be stored forever if I didn’t delete them. If we all spent an hour once a year deleting old junk from our files, I’d guarantee the cloud would shrink by thirty percent. But we’d also lose something we needed the next week.

It was mostly junk mail. I didn’t have time to delete everything. How did these people find me?

Teddy whined and I looked down at him. Blitz rubbed his body across Teddy’s cheek and alternately batted his ear. Then, just as Teddy was about to get up in frustration, Blitz leaped over his head and promptly fell over onto his back and looked across his belly at Teddy, sea otter style.

‘Rub my belly, please?’

Thank you for listening, jules