We parents do crazy things for our children. My husband and I volunteered to help our daughter move her belongings to a new apartment with two roommates while we visited her in Boston, where she attended college.
Usually, we flew, but this time we were bringing some small pieces of furniture, a computer and housewares in our minivan from Kansas City — a round trip of about 3,000 miles. Our daughter gave us a list of what she needed.
“Oh, can you bring our kittens?”
“You have kittens?”
“Amber’s cat had kittens.”
My daughter. What a jokester! “Don’t they have homeless kittens in Boston?”
“These are Turkish Angora kittens.”
“Hmmm.” I didn’t know what a Turkish Angora kitten was, but how could that be important?
“And they’re rare,” she continued.
I sighed. Still not impressed. My daughter wasn’t going to be breeding and showing cats.
“And we promised Amber we’d take them.”
I pondered this information. “No.”
A cry of dismay. “We’ve already named them. Cynthia’s is Paddington, and mine is Bones.”
Well, now that they had names, they were claimed. It was settled then. We’d be driving a pair of two-month-old kittens to Boston. No problem. My husband and I didn’t cave in quite that easily, but it was still embarrassingly fast. (Part of the negotiations involved a small ball python. Another story.)
On a break from classes, my daughter flew to Kansas City to get the kittens from Amber. When my daughter walked in the door of our house with one crying kitten clinging desperately to her shirt, she looked miserable. Motherhood can be hard. But the kittens quickly adjusted to their new temporary home. They didn’t mind being confined to a bedroom and bathroom area, because our old cat, Malcolm, didn’t much like them in his territory. Soon, the kittens discovered how much fun it was to pull all of the toilet paper from the roll and shred it.
“We’ll keep the cats in a carrier,” I said, when my husband wondered whether it was safe to have kittens running loose in the car.
Confining the kittens lasted for about the first half-hour of the trip. The meowing was unbearable, so I released them. Once freed, they leapt and sailed around the minivan. They watched from the windows and slept some times on the dashboard. Online, I’d found motels that would take cats, and the kittens were surprisingly quiet when we settled in each night. They snuggled next to us. We also spent some nights with friends along the way. With the kittens in the car, we stopped only for gas until we reached each night’s destination.
We moved our daughter into her apartment in the Fenway Park area. (Another story.) There was hardly room for her and her two roommates to move around. The kittens quickly made themselves at home, climbing above the clutter. I missed our furry passengers on the drive back to Kansas City. To be continued.