Of Cats and Contraception
By MJ Snydiel
"You shit!", I screamed at Sophie who was nursing 5 kittens in the roof gutter. I had been drawn to the strange sound of crying and peered out my window to find my cat with her 5 little bastards.
"Yeah, I am talking to you!" I addressed her as her wide eyes met mine. Page and Molly had already been spayed but Sophie had been younger so the vet told me to come back in 2 months' time. Sophie was notorious for sneaking out of the house like Houdini, so the request to keep her celibate was easier said than done.
Jason, my best friend was very into new age telepathy. He believed that given enough focus and self-awareness I could project my thoughts into Sophie. Back then, I thought I might as well give it a shot.
When I found you, you had used Page and Molly's cat door to come into our house and eat their food. I had to convince my mom to keep you. She agreed on the condition that you would be the last cat I adopted. Please help me keep my promise. Your appointment is in 2 months. You will be big enough then just be good and keep all four legs crossed. Just wait. I promise, motherhood—you won't even miss the opportunity. My mother complains about it all the time. This keeps my legs crossed too. I promise."
I looked into Sophie's puke-yellow eyes and thought we had an understanding. She even meowed!
"How could you Sophie!? God! It had to be you. Out of all my three babies you have always been the sweetest; I never told you this, but you have also been the ugliest! You have the longest face and the widest ears! You have stripes within spots. So weird! Oh, my god. All your children look like you. No! Sophie damn your genetics."
Sophie glares at me and moves a paw over her litter as if to shield them from my cruel words.
"Oh, whatever! look at Page. She is pure white with one green eye and one blue. Do you think I let her have kittens? No! she would have made beautiful babies but she loathes anything smaller than her so this was the best option.
"And Molly? Molly is made of gold. She has golden stripes and golden eyes. And her tail! Molly has the longest perfect tail. Molly has no kittens! Do you know why? Because Molly is a good girl who would rather eat than have sex!"
Sophie is still eyeing me but I can tell she has no interest in the choices of her adopted sisters.
"Eight! Eight cats! You have made me a cat lady. Nobody wants kitten Sophie! People want corgis or little French bulldogs. Sophie! Cats have a bad reputation."
The neighbors look out their window wondering who I am yelling at.
"Nobody will want your kittens, Sophie! They're not cute. People now want pets who look good in purses, costumes or Instagram. Bad girl, Sophie. Bad girl."
Sophie hisses. I hiss back. I straddle my window sill. I stretch my arm out and snap a picture with my phone. I post the picture on Facebook with these words: "Free kittens in 12 weeks. Message me."
I point at the five, counting them off with names. Stitch, Lacey, Buttons, Zipper and Pocket.
"I hope you are happy Sophie. I just named them. They are all my responsibility now."
Sophie was lucky to have me. In a third world country, cats were either vermin or cheap meat. It's why I never bought hotdogs from a kiosk.
It had taken a while to get all the kittens inside the house. Slutty Sophie had given me a few new scratches but I grabbed her by the scuff and threw her into the house before relocation the kittens.
"The roof! What were you thinking Sophie?"
As predicted 12 weeks later, the kittens except Pocket—who had charmed my grandmother—were not adopted.
I took the all crying and whining to their first vet visit. This went pretty well with all of them healthy as can be despite their ugliness. When their vaccinations were taken care of, I asked when I could get Sophie spayed. The vet looked up surprised.
"I thought you knew. Sophie is pregnant" he told me.
I glared down at Sophie who sat on the table between us licking her crotch.
"Dammit Sophie!" I cursed at her.
Sort of, there were more kittens later.