Animal Birthing – Beautiful or Ick?

The Blonde clan have recently become addicted to PogDogs (Paul O’Grady at Battersea Dogs home), Supervet and various other animal rescue programmes. As we coo, ahhh and aww at the various little animals in need of love, our cat Sandy is usually nearby for cuddles and an expression of miffed’ness (usual expression to be honest) on her furry face.  It reminds me that the kids have not always found fuzzy animals quite so cute.  Digging out an old column from the archives, I found a prime example.  Read on peeps…

 

Yum, tasty Kitten haha,,

The beauty of nature has been revealed to my children in all its glory this week. Their response was “Urgh, Gross” I could not chastise too much since my outburst was “Arghh Noooo, not on my new carpet”  The cat gave birth regardless.
Sandy, our cat, had been getting a bit fat.  The tom cats had finally stopped wailing outside our windows night and day.  I now understand what people mean when they say ‘cats chorus’ and at the same time was soo tempted to find out about the sound people describe as ‘strangled cat’ at 5am. poor Sandy just didn’t seem to know what to do with herself. She was hungry yet she wasn’t, she wanted in but would hesitate at the door. Basically, she was being a pain in the furry butt.!

Bank Holiday weekend, and my little family and I were lying in the hallway playing dominoes and enjoying the smell and feel of our new carpet, when Sandy waddled past.  Her backside was at eyelevel to us all and we looked at each other in bewilderment.

“Sandy is doing a poo – throw her out quick” my daughter yelled.  The cat dived behind me and then set off to find a birthing place, leaving ick trails in her wake.  Ten minutes later and Sandy seemed to have decided that this was not something that she wanted to do alone.

Practising for her newborns

We could see her tummy grinding and contracting. My husband started to stroke her back firmly and it really seemed to help her.  I was torn between feeling really proud of him being so sensitive to Sandy and absolute sickening jealousy that this cat was getting all the attention and support from my man that I never got both times that I had given birth; ok, with extreme amounts of medical intervention each time he never really had a chance but that is beside the point – huh!

My attempts at following the cat with a towel were fruitless as were my son’s attempts to spray Oxy Carpet Magic stuff on every stain  Then, the first kitten began to make her appearance.

“Why is her baby coming out of her bum”?  my son asked, his head cocked to one side.  Thankfully, I did not have to answer this question as it was quickly replaced by another one.  The first born plopped onto my soft, bouncy, beautiful & expensive carpet in a mass of goo and guts.  Whereupon, Sandy turned and began to lick her baby clean. Cries of “Mum, is she eating her baby?” and “urgh,, that’s gross”! filled what I assume should have been a beautiful moment.

My lovely carpet *sigh*

Some days later, my cousin also gave birth, thankfully in a hospital and not in my hallway though.  Her son was born naturally and both mother and baby were doing well.  I took my kids in to the hospital to visit them.  As my daughter bounded up to my cousin’s bed, arms laden with presents and homemade cards, my son approached carefully and unusually quietly.

He tentatively climbed up on the bed and cuddled my cousin, his eyes full if concern.  “Does your bum hurt”? he asked her.  She roared with laughter and looked to me for an explanation.

I have to wonder, how do you explain to children about all nature’s beauty and wondrous magic when so much of it is hidden in Ick?  It is easy to show a child a butterfly or a bumblebee in a flower-filled garden and have them understand what beauty is.  How do you compare that to a snake swallowing a mouse whole or a tiger feeding a deer to it’s cubs and especially, a life being born from a bum?

It is all nature and fascinating in its splendour but who are we kidding when we call it beautiful? The kids don’t buy that line!  Sometimes nature is just Ick!  

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