Sex has been a hot topic recently here at our home.
I’m not talking about somebody who saw something on TV that they shouldn’t have – but humans, animals, birds, bees, even plants procreate and these children of ours have had a lot of questions about it recently.
When my husband and I were married we made one simple prenuptial pact. We vowed never to own a cat.
When work on the outside of our old farmhouse began, drainage problems were affecting the house foundation. My handy husband eagerly rented a bulldozer and began moving the hillside behind our home.
Around that time, our second daughter was 9-months-old and starting to enjoy sitting up and playing. This self-entertainment stage of her life allowed me a moment in the kitchen to make coffee. I remember that day vividly. I walked in the living room to find her holding something black and wiggly in her hand, giggling with joy.
I’m blind-as-a-bat without glasses or contacts. Since I wasn’t wearing either yet, I had to go in for a closer look to see what kind of toy she had. It. Was. A. Snake. In my baby’s hand! I panicked. I wasn’t sure if I should call 9-1-1. She dropped it and I caught it in a lidded Tupperware (never underestimate the power of overpriced plastic containers). I sprinted to call my husband and discovered ANOTHER baby snake on one of her toys. I bravely captured and sealed this monster in more Tupperware. I was ready to move back to town and never look back.
My panicked phone call to my husband prompted him to make an emergency return home from work. We moved every stitch of furniture in the house. Thankfully there were no more unpleasant discoveries. Apparently, the excavation project had upset a nest of these nasty beasts.
I had nightmares about their mother coming into our home to find them. I couldn’t stop the terror in my head so I turned to the Internet for reassurance. I had to prevent this from ever happening again. I learned many things including – snakes enjoy an appetite of mice and frogs. After hours of research, I felt the best way to eliminate snakes from the farm was a barn cat! Problem solved! I brought home a female barn cat. My husband never said a word. He knew this cat was the only thing keeping a for-sale sign out of our driveway. We spayed her, and Cinderella-the-cat became a member of our family. The marital pact was broken.
A few months ago he came home with a menacing grin on his face. All I could ask was, “What did you do?” He called our kids outside to his truck to see his surprise. Ugh! Did we really need another cat? Well, Lightning-the-cat was promptly named and adopted into our household.
A few weeks ago, I noticed he was looking a little round and wormy so I picked him up and felt his belly. I lifted his tail in horror as I discovered HE was a female. An expectant female – ready-to-pop any day. And so the sex and gender questions began. And I’ve answered them as factually and age-appropriately as I can.
The five kittens were born, the questions have subsided, their cuteness a welcome distraction. I’ve realized that while we’ll never have a mouse or snake problem, I’ve now transformed into a cat lady with four kids and seven cats. Do you need a free barn cat, neighbor?


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