But Ripley’s kittens (names coming from the movie “Alien”) have to be the most beautiful of them all. Three are girls, black, gray, white and “floofy” (a “crazy cat person” term) and the other two are boys, both tabbies.
In the course of following the chat room that accompanies the live feed, I came upon a website known as kittenwritten.net. For every 100 words you write, you are rewarded with a picture of a kitten! Writers always need a little push to get going and I thought this seemed like the purrfect opportunity to try it (yes, I know it should be spelled “perfect” but I’m one of those crazy cat ladies.)
White padded paws belonging to a sleek black and white tuxedo cat waded carefully through puddles on the street. The wind was brisk and every now and then water would soak through the fur, giving the cat a chill. She could feel the movement inside of her lower body and knew her time was coming. The bulging of her belly made it difficult to navigate those puddles.
Her eyes black and wide open in distress, she whimpered with hunger pangs, searching for a place to bear her brood.
It was then that a woman in her mid thirties came upon the cat who by now was shivering uncontrollably.
“Oh my, you poor thing!” said the woman, crouching down and extending her open hand to the stray to sniff. The cat shrunk back slightly but the woman was patient, cooing softly, “Come on sweetheart, it’s okay, you’re such a pretty kitty, come sniff my hand.”
After a long pause, the cat leaned forward, sniffing the hand and touching it with her cold nose. The woman remained in a crouch and continued to coo, extending her left hand while with her right, searching her pocket for a treat.
Finding a couple of soft kibbles, she offered them to the cat. Sniffing audibly, the eyes opened wider and the cat pressed forward, taking the kibble delicately into her mouth. The woman pulled out more kibbles and soon the cat was eating a handful.
Drawing back her left hand, she turned it over and hovered over the cat’s head, slowly descending until it just barely touched the fur so wet and cold. At first the cat shrank back but the odor of the kibbles was too much and she remained, carefully nibbling.
“Oh sweetheart, how hungry you are!” said the woman as she reached out again to stroke the head. It was then that she noticed the cat’s true condition.
Searching for a collar and finding none, the woman noticed the movement in the bulging belly. At once her heart was lost in love with that homeless and hungry cat.
Placing more kibbles on the ground, it took but a moment for the woman to take off her fleece coat and wrap it gently around the cat. At first the cat wiggled and shrank back, eyes going black with fear. But somehow the woman’s cooing and the memory of the kibbles was enough for her to begin to trust someone. Instinctively she sensed she must if she and her soon-to-be born kittens were to survive.
The woman gently scooped up the black cat and laid her in her arms, continuing to coo. “You look like a Ripley to me sweetheart,” she said and in a singsong voice, saying the name over and over again. She stood still, waiting for Ripley to relax just a bit, and stroked her head slowly, softly. Ripley began to close her eyes as the slightest hint of a purr rippled through her body.
A woman in her thirties and a half-starved and very pregnant tuxedo cat made their way to a new home where kittens would be born and tens of thousands of strangers from across the world would share in the joy of the new family.