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Friday, June 15, 2012

I was back at Cross-Hair Hill today in the Valley of the Spiders, hunting big game in an effort to impress my daughter. Oddly for someone related to Lisa, Amelie loved my photo of a zebra spider on Wednesday, and when I told her I was going back to the same place again today, she ordered me to film the beast this time. As she said to me last night, "I want to see it move, Daddy". She's like that with sleeping kittens.

Sadly, as any Nessie hunter will tell you, these things never turn up when you want them to. The clinic was a spider-free zone this morning. There was a horse on the wall...

... and a bottle of cranberry juice...

... but that was about it.

Until mid-afternoon, when this turned up...

It's hard to run away from a spider when it's standing on your shoe. No wonder they call them beetle-crushers. I probably shouldn't have filmed my feet though, as they give away how tiny the creature was. Obviously that one wasn't a zebra spider. Zebras are far more scary. You wouldn't want to cross one.

On the subject of elusive animals, the kittens will be eight weeks old tomorrow, so it's almost time to send them off for slaughter. Sorry, I mean laughter. And fun. With their new owners. We were going to keep them for another week, but in the past few days we've decided we need to get rid of them fast, before they suck the life out of their mother.

To be honest, they're sucking the life out of me too. It's not easy feeding five cats, four times a day, and dealing with the resulting litter trays, worming treatments and accidents, whilst holding down a full-time job, a three-year-old daughter and a heavily pregnant wife. Not that the wife and daughter want to be held down, but sometimes it's the only way to deal with them.

Shimmy, however, seems to be suffering even more than I am. As a mother, you give a lot of yourself to your children, but in the eight weeks since the kittens were born, they appear to have been eating her alive. She's only a small, young cat, and as the kittens have grown bigger, she's been getting ever thinner. She's always eaten well, but sadly in the past two months she's achieved my lifelong dream of stuffing herself constantly and still losing weight.

For the past week or so, I don’t think the kittens have really needed their mother's milk, as they're merrily eating up my wages in Felix, but Shimmy still offers, and they’re happy to accept. The trouble is, they're now so big, they have the appetites of lions, and see Shimmy as a tempting wildebeest. She's now looking like a deflated balloon, and has about as much energy as Lisa.

So tomorrow is D-Day. The D stands for de-kittening. H (not from Steps) is coming round in the morning, followed by Stefan & Andrew in the afternoon. By the evening, we'll be back down to two cats, and looking up the number of a good neutering service. It's been fun while it lasted, but never again.


Phil's Mum said...

I HAD thought Shimmy might miss her kittens when they go, but it sounds like it will be the sort of miss achieved when you stop banging your head against a brick wall!  Spoil her, indulge her and love her back to full health and strength.  (That means don't put her through a neutering op just yet!)