It seems to have become an annual event.
Every July we get some serious one-on-one time with our closest nephew.
Closest, meaning proximity.
*(there are two other nephews, but their parents and years of no responses to requests or cards...has created a distance in what we had hoped to be a relationship with them.)
this year was the longest amount of time with our nephew, he was at our place for three nights.
He is 11 and totally into Manga comics and video games and cartoons and KITTENS
Our old man cat wanted nothing to do with his attempts at snuggles or pats...
he chose to spend his time curled under my desk sleeping on the power strip and sulking
at HIS unwanted company.
So I suggested that we go to the Humane Society and check out kittens.
I am not sure I totally thought the idea through when it came to my own mental health about seeing touching or interacting with kittens....
I am still quite broken from the loss of our kitty back in February and now the aging cat at home...
I am dealing with a lot of mortality in felines.
We went for half an hour on the first visit because we were meeting Uncle for lunch and and needed to pick up food before seeing him....I thought it would be and easy in and out...
It was easy to get in and out...but I was very standoff-ish with all kitties.
The following day he mentioned he wanted to go back and visit them again....
I figured it would be fine and it took a chunk of time of the day and it made him happy.
We returned and there were twice as many kittens and cats...
9week old kittens, to mature cats...
he wanted to snuggle them all...it made him so happy and smile so big...
I watched him, and offered help when claws were too sharp or wiggles too strong.
This sweet little kitty is the one that made me cry.
As I was handed this kitten, so he could play with another eager soul...
I held it close to my chest and it melted into purrs and I turned away from my nephew...
tears welling in my eyes, feeling the soft fur and rumbles of the purr against my chest.
Before the tears could fall, I told him that my heart hurt and that we should move on to the older cats...or dogs.
He was a little confused but was willing to move onto the next room.
The second visit was all about making sure to see and say hello to every kitten and cat, and then hello to every dog. That sweet little boy even sat with a dog that had a "I'm shy" sign on her kennel for almost a half an hour to make her feel better.
When the time came to leave, he said goodbye to every dog, cat and kitten.
and told me that he felt badly that he could not take them home.
I assured him that what he was feeling was empathy and compassion and that those are really wonderful emotions and that means that you are a loving person and capable of loving other beings.
The next morning I saw that one the kittens he was crazy about was adopted, and shared the news with him, his smile was huge...and he said- that is so great!
He is still to young to volunteer without and adult....but I mentioned it to him and his parents.
I spent three days, all day with my nephew...in the evenings The Barren made sure I took some quiet time for myself before bed.
I was exhausted, the nephew would have active dreams at night and call out waking The Barren and myself. He was fighting with his sisters in his dreams...having things taken by them. He remembers none of the dreams and awoke each morning happy and ready to be entertained.
I loved the time, and tried really hard to give him loads of space and time to just be.
Pool time, puzzle time, reading time, park time, making cookies, we even watched surfers and he declared he wanted to do that too.
I listened to exaggerated stories and claims, I sat and watched cartoons and simply soaked him in.
I introduced him to Bob Marley music and we sang along to Queen songs.
I do hope that he remembers being able to just be himself when he is with us.
I really love being his Auntie