As I've been reading through my books on the Ya-Ya's, I've started coming up with some memories that I want to share with all of you. You see, I was fortunate enough to grow up with grandparents who lived on a farm, and a cottage (not a cabin, oh hells no) within an hour of our house.
All of my memories of summer are wrapped up and kept in the smells of that cottage and that farm. I have the barest of summer memories that don't include the scent of pigs or the smell of a river flowing through the woods. When we weren't at the cottage, or at my grandparent's farm, the summer didn't seem real. Those were the things that defined our summers.
During every week-long summer visit we had at Grandpa's farm, I made it my mission to find THE kitten. It was my goal to find the best kitten, make it very friendly to humans, and socialize it so that it would not be afraid to give us it's kittens in the future. All I wanted was a kitten to love on. I was barely hanging on to the hope that one day there might be a whole litter of kittens who weren't afraid of me. That never really happened.
The one time I can say for certain that my Grandpa was the most proud of me was the summer that I humanized a whole litter of kittens. One of the kittens was a torti, just like her mama, and two were yellow tabbies. I remember, because I was so involved in those kittens that I named them all: Baby was the torti who let me hold her all the time, whenever I wanted. She was my baby. I was about eight years old. There was a yellow tabby, a male, and he wasn't the least bit interested in me. Eyes was a yellow tabby too, and she had a problem with her eyes. The first real knowlege of my grandpa as a tender-hearted man was my mother telling me that he went to the vet (no matter how unheard-of it is, the treatment of barn cats) and was treating her with medication to clear up the infection in her eyes.
The treatment didn't work, poor Eyes didn't make it. She wasn't strong enough, and tough enough for the life of a barn cat. Her sister, Baby, carried on their line for many years, however. She constantly brought me her kittens to show them off - it seemed that I stayed with my grandparents at the perfect time, just when spring was turning into summer.
Just when the barn cats were starting to be more laid-back about leaving their kittens alone for long enough for me to find them, I would be there, with my ninja stealthiness, and with all my efforts focused on finding those kittens. Every part of my mind would be absorbed in finding those kittens, and being a person they could trust. Sometimes it worked. Some of my happiest memories involve those barn kittens.