A few weeks ago Schmin moved to Bakersfield. Yeah, yeah. People tend to move from Bakersfield to LA, not the other way around. I voiced dissent once, then told him I wished him well and will always support him, because I love him. I'm learning to shut up about his life choices. What I think might be a clunker might work out in the end. I don't know that it won't. When I was his age, I had a 5-year-old, and I'm turning out alright.
A few days after he arrived in Bakersfield, he called to tell me that he'd found this little thing. This was about two weeks ago, and she was even littler then, if you can believe that.
For two days he heard a sound coming from an area around the house he moved into. He couldn't isolate it, and he wasn't sure what it was. On the second day, he realized it was coming from underneath the Jacuzzi, and he also realized that he didn't really want to know what it was. But he steeled himself and determined to check it out. He peeked under, but couldn't see what was making the sound. Then he noticed skeletons, kitten skeletons, and that's when he knew it was a cat. None of the ones he saw were much more than bones, so he tipped the Jacuzzi over, and could tell that the sound was coming from inside the motor. Keeping the Jacuzzi tipped while preventing the motor from dropping and injuring the cat inside was a delicate balance, but he did it, he freed the tiniest kitten he'd ever seen. He looked her over, and it occurred to him that it was a miracle that she was alive. So that's what he named her, Miracle, Mira for short.
He knew she was too small for solid food, that she was far from weaned -- she didn't even have teeth -- so he went to the pet store and bought a bottle and some kitten formula. She wouldn't eat much the first couple of days, and the first night, she squealed on and on (causing him to teasingly call her Meow Mix). The second night, he decided to cocoon her in one of his sweat jackets. That did the the trick. Another night he wrapped her in a cashmere vest. That one she loves above all.
Schmin has always been like the Pied Piper when it comes to little beings (without the part about leading them to a questionable fate). Kids can't get enough of him, and if ever your tiny animal gets lost, you'd want Schmin to be the one to find it. He's truly a god of small things.
I can already tell that we'd argue over what's best for his children. He thinks Mira is too little for a litter box, but I warned him that he'd best start her now, or she'll be peeing on his sweaters forever. Today he came to town to work with Rob, his friend and sometimes boss, for a few days, and he brought Mira with him. Who got to kittysit? Me. And who immediately marched around to the drugstore and picked up some cat litter and a pan? That would be me. The first few times I put Mira in it, she climbed right on out. I scratched with my fingers, and with her paws, and she responded with a "So what?" About the fifth time I put her in and scratched she did the same, then she peed, and I called Natalie to share the good news. She's gone five more times in the litter, and one time on me.
I said there'd be sewing today. That's the wrap skirt I made last year. Complete with cat pee.
A creature this small making its way in the world really breaks your heart. You look at yourself and you see how big you are and you know it's still hard. You can only imagine the vulnerability of a thing so little. But, as big things it's our job to take care of the tiny ones, and I'm proud of Schmin for taking up the call. Soon, we'll get her to a vet.
With the journey she's had, she mostly needs love, and how could we not love a baby like Mira?