How to Live with Cats

Christopher Iba - Brazil


November 20, 2016

When I first got the profile of my permanent host family, I was surprised to see that they had 5 cats. I have never lived with cats nor have I ever been a big fan of them, but my bridge year is about adapting and stretching the boundaries of my comfort. When I first arrived, I was overwhelmed. Cats were running in and out of the house, climbing on things, fighting with each other, and sometimes knocking food off the counter. Over the course of the next two weeks, I learned to deal with them. And then I realized that they were not the problems, it was the things inside their bellies that were.

 

I had always known that some of the cats looked kind of fat, but I never though anything of it, until one day Brunna mentioned to me that three of them were pregnant. I thought to myself, that it shouldn’t be a problem. Having three kittens running around would not be too much to handle, not realizing that each cat would have multiple babies.

 

The first cat had its babies, 4 little kittens. Then came the second who bore another 3. The final cat, however, is a whole different story. This cat had been meowing and scratching at my bedroom door every day for a full week. One night, I couldn’t take it anymore and opened my door at 2 AM to take the cat outside. As I turned on the lights I was shocked to see 2 baby kittens on the ground. I immediately panicked because I was in a big predicament. Should I wake up my host family or try to deal with the kittens on my own? While I was contemplating this, the mother cat started to make weird noises and then it happened; I witnessed the birth of the final kitten. This was one of the most amazing as well as most disgusting moments of my entire life. Quickly after, I rushed to get my host dad and we put the mother and kittens in a box so that they could rest. These next few months my patience, tolerance, flexibility, and sanity is going to be seriously tested. Wish me luck.

 

UPDATE:  The other day we just recounted and realized that there are actually 11 kittens….

Christopher Iba