Peep was worried. This morning when she woke up she realized that she hadn't thought about the Mommy at all yesterday. When she thought some more, she realized that very often hours went by when she didn't remember the Mommy wasn't here, or that she missed her. Was she forgetting about the Mommy? She hoped not, because she loved the Mommy so much. She sat and thought about the Mommy. She tried to remember her face, and although she kind of remembered it, she didn’t remember it all that well.
Panicked, Peep ran to find Rudy or LT. She ran through the house, calling for them, but they weren’t inside. She burst through the cat door, not even looking to see if Fuzzy was around, and called for them again. Not receiving an answer, she ran towards the trees where LT often took his naps. She called his name frantically, and received a sleep answer.
“Peep, what’s wrong? You sound like it’s the end of the world!” LT tried to simultaneously wake up, find out what was wrong and calm the Peep. He didn’t succeed in calming Peep.
“I can’t remember what the Mommy looks like! I didn’t even think about her yesterday at all. I think I’m forgetting her. I don’t want to forget the Mommy, I love her so much!” Peep talked so fast that her words fell over one another, making it difficult for LT to understand.
LT tried to come up with a good answer for her from his sleepy brain. He was never at his best when he woke up, but he knew he needed to give Peep a very good answer to keep her from getting completely hysterical.
“Peep, other than those few days, we haven’t seen the Mommy in almost two months. It’s hard to picture things in your head that you don’t see all the time. You know you still love her, Peep.” LT spoke in a slow calming voice, but it didn’t seem to have an effect on Peep.
“I can’t forget her, LT, I just can’t! She’s my Mommy. I’ve already forgotten my cat mommy, I can’t lose this Mommy!” Peep couldn’t even sit down. She walked a few steps, sat down, stood back up, walked and repeated the sequence over and over. Her voice had gotten to the level of a wail, and Rudy came running over.
“What’s wrong? Is someone hurt?” Rudy was out of breath. She’d run from the next yard over where she’d been hunting.
LT quietly explained the problem to Rudy as Peep continued to pace and rant. They decided they needed to use drastic measures to stop Peep; otherwise they’d never get her calm.
LT roughly cuffed the side of Peep’s head. Peep stopped in her tracks and cringed on the ground. “Why did you do that? It’s not bad enough that I’ve forgotten Mommy, now you need to hurt me?” At least she wasn’t wailing anymore.
“Peep, I did that because you were hysterical and I needed you to stop and listen. You were making yourself more and more upset, and weren’t listening.” LT said this in a matter of fact voice, and while he was talking Rudy went and sat down next to Peep.
“Peep, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the Mommy. Tell me some of the things that you like about her.” Rudy decided that it would be good to get her talking about the Mommy, remembering the good times they had together.
“The Mommy is good, and beautiful, and she loves me, and she brushes my coat, and she scratches my head….” Rudy cut her off, because Peep was still too upset.
“Peep, of course she’s those things, but tell me about some of the times you and the Mommy had a good time together.”
“Oh – well the Mommy likes to dance with me and sing that silly song “It’s a jungle out there.” She holds me by my front legs so that I’m just standing on the rear ones and rocks back and forth singing that song over and over. I think it’s from one of the television shows that she likes. It’s really silly, but it’s kind of fun. Oh, remember the time that Mommy dressed me up in that silly little dress and took my picture? I hated that dress – cats aren’t supposed to wear clothes, you know, but the Mommy was so happy to see me in it, and she showed the Daddy and the yarn lady and took my picture. Then I tried to rip it off, but I couldn’t, so the Mommy took it off me. She also put a funny bandana around my neck, like I was a dog. I kept trying to back out of it, because it felt like I had my head stuck in something, but no matter how much I backed up, it wouldn’t come off. She said I looked very nice in it, but I’m not a dog, you know. Oh, and I love the times that the Mommy cooks bacon for us. She cuts up little tiny pieces that are cat sized, and she feeds them to me. She knows that the big pieces would probably choke me, because I’m so little, so she cuts them up because she loves me. Oh, the Mommy is so good….” Peep sighed and relaxed into Rudy.
LT sat down on her other side, and both cats purred at Peep. She was calming down, but they wanted her to stay that way. “You see, Peep, you haven’t forgotten the Mommy. I think our minds are just keeping us from missing her too much, because then we’d be sad and just cry all the time. I know I love her as much as the day she left, I just don’t think about her as much. No matter what, she’s still our Mommy.”
“She is. And she’ll be coming home in a while. I’ve been comparing my counting marks, and she’ll be home in less than a cat.” While that made perfect sense to Peep, and some sense to LT, Rudy had no clue what she was talking about.
“What do you mean, come home in less than a cat? I believe she’ll be coming home in a car, the same way she left.” Rudy tried to make sense of the sentence, but wasn’t having much luck, so Peep explained her counting system to Rudy.
“Four claws make a paw, four paws make a cat, and each claw is a day. So, how I figure it is that she’ll be home in less than four paws worth of days, which is the same as a cat.” Peep proudly explained this to Rudy.
“Wow, Peep. I knew you had figured out how to keep track of how long the Mommy had been gone, but I didn’t know it was so complicated! You’re a smart little cat.” Rudy licked Peep’s head to show her admiration.
“I am, and it’s all because of the Mommy. I guess you’re right, I do remember her, even if I don’t know what color her eyes are. I remember how she loves us, and that’s what is important.”