|These are not MY kittens.|
I can laugh about them now, but they weren't so funny 22 years ago when I was pregnant with my son. I think it was the closest I ever came to feeling crazy, though my feelings seemed perfectly normal at the time. I didn't have mood swings from one minute to the next, like you often see in movies. No, I had one set of emotions -- overly sentimental. I cried about everything because everything was sooooo touching. But my over-the-top emotions seemed warranted to me. It was everyone else who was reacting inappropriately.
Imagine the emotion that Hallmark greeting card commercials try to evoke. Then multiply that x 1000 for everything from a news snippet about a lost dog, to a crosswalk sign that had a parent and child hand-in-hand, to Archie and Ethel singing the theme song on All in the Family. Flood gates.
Then imagine me, a weepy pregnant woman watching She's Having a Baby (starring Kevin Bacon). I cried, and I cried, and I cried. It was The. Best. Movie. Ever! I believed that so much that I wouldn't shut up about it until my parents came over and watched it, too. So we all sat there, me bawling almost from the moment the opening credits rolled, until I was weeping tears of happy joy at the end. Then, stunned, I turned to my family and inexplicably saw dry eyes. Not a tear in the house! What was wrong with these people?!
I went on with my pregnancy, happily sleeping as much as humanly possible, and then waking up to find new profound moments of joy and tenderness, whether it be telephone commercials or children swinging on swingsets. It took very little to move me. But the biggest emotional breakdown occurred over the cats.
My cat Sylvia was pregnant at the same time I was. I spent my days as lazy as her, curling up with her in bed, nurturing our growing babies. I felt so connected to that cat. I felt like we were going through this pregnancy together, and I was practically her labor coach when she delivered her kittens in May. Four beautiful bundles of fur. I loved them like my own.
Seriously. Like my own.
Then the day came when my husband said it was time to find homes for the kittens. He placed an ad in the newspaper and to my dismay, people called about them. The first family came and claimed their new pet. I cried and cried. Then another family came. I cried some more. The last two families came to pick up their new kittens and I went a little crazy. I cried. I begged. I pleaded to keep them. I kept telling my husband that those kittens needed me. They wouldn't know what to do without me. They'd be lost! They'd be frantic! How could he be so horrible and unfeeling? How would he like it if someone came to take our new baby away? (Believe it or not, I did not find this question over-the-top.)
My husband tried to calm me down. He tried to be reasonable. He honestly didn't know what to do with me. The families and children were in the living room holding the kittens, ready to take them to their new homes and I was shut in the bedroom like a crazy lady, having a meltdown. I know they could hear me.
They took them anyway.
So, I did the only thing I could. I watched them out the window and wrote down their license plate numbers so I could track them down and rescue my kittens. Oops - did I say my kittens? I meant Sylvia's kittens. I was sure she'd be as inconsolable as I was at losing her litter.
Armed with the license plate numbers, I refused to talk to my husband. I did nothing but lay in my bed and cry. So he did the only thing he could: he called my mother. She came over and tried to talk to me. I'm sure she said some very logical things, but she just didn't understand. No one understood. Those poor kittens!
I know. This all sounds a little crazy. Even to me. In hindsight, I wouldn't believe it all really happened except that I still have the sympathy card my mother sent me that said she knew how upset I was about the kittens... Yes, she actually mailed me a sympathy card.
I think I finally got over it when I went into labor (22 years ago today :) ). Pregnancy hormones finished, I moved right into postpartum fun. Like I said, I can laugh about it all now, but boy - it was all something to cry about then.