April 22, 1970
Cathy loved to cook, and I was better at baking. So she’d make a casserole or other one-dish dinner, and I’d supply dessert. Nate was happy to make strong coffee, and these simple meals were the catalyst for some memorable times.
We never ran out of things to talk about, and often the topic was theology. Neither Cathy nor John had much interest in church, but they were always ready to chat about the Bible in what amounted to thought-provoking discussions. All 4 of us loved the friendly debates.
Not a day went by that we didn’t check in with each other. But there was one special call I was eagerly awaiting – the one announcing their cat Jeanette was in labor.
Then one Wednesday it came.
Nate was at the law library when I picked up the phone and Cathy said, “Come right over! Jeanette’s having her babies, and the first one has just been born!”
I dashed off a note for Nate, climbed in our noxious Mustang for the short drive, and walked into Cathy’s living room in time to see kitten #2 arrive. Jeanette didn’t mind us gawking at her as she labored, seemingly without pain. We marveled at how her mid-section balled up in a contraction, but not once did she whimper or meow.
“Apparently animals have it easier than humans,” I said.
We watched baby #3 emerge, and as with the others, Jeanette licked it with such vigor she literally flipped it over and over. The kitten didn’t mind at all.
Though their eyes were closed, each one belly-crawled straight to their mama’s mid-section where warm milk was waiting. This same three-step process happened with all of them: birth, bath, and chow.
Kitten #4 completed the family, and once they were all nestled together with a sleepy Jeanette, Cathy, John, and I celebrated with Diet Rite Colas.
Nate, who chose to study rather than observe the birthing process, had warned me about bonding with the kitties. “You probably shouldn’t give them names or anything like that,” he had said. After all, he was a dog person, and we’d already agreed our first choice for a pet would be a puppy.
When I got home, he stopped working long enough to listen attentively to my blow-by-blow account of the evening. “It was amazing!” I said. “And those kittens are sooo adorable! You’ll just have to get over to see them.”
“And,” I added, “all 4 of them are going to need good homes.”
“The life of every living thing is in [the Lord’s] hand.” (Job 12:10)