Four years ago, during a particularly cold spell in winter, a young barn cat who was probably little more than a kitten herself had three kittens–an unusual event around here for February, as kitten season tends to start in April. Shortly thereafter, she was killed by a predator, and when some kind folks went to rescue her neonates, one had already passed from hypothermia.
When those two remaining kittens landed with me on a Friday evening, they were just two days old. They were the tiniest kittens I’d ever seen; at that age, kittens are typically 100-120g. These boys were 70g and 57g respectively. That, combined with their delayed milestones, suggests to me they were probably a few days premature, but it’s hard to know for sure.
What I do know is that I fought tooth and nail to keep them alive, and even though we lost Gus to a congenital heart defect at eight weeks old, both were little miracles and taking them on was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Every day I miss Gus. And every day I’m grateful to have Shawn (Shawnie, Shawnifer, Monster, Child, Little Jerk, Belly, Devil, Goose, Mr. Shawn, Little Prince). He is incredibly clever, sweet, silly, and just an absolute joy. A total menace, but the very best kind, and all day every day he is literally never out of sight. He’s the best little companion, particularly with the pandemic.
We always have a big party for his birthday. Of course he got tons of presents. And even though they’re for everyone, he seems to intuitively know everything is “his”.
His favourite thing at the moment, where he is chilling right this second, is a new little MDF house from his “nana” (thank you, Nanci!). Everyone is quite high on catnip and begging me for snacks.
His birthday is coinciding with a little break for me; I’d planned to take a few days off of freelancing to get some writing (mostly for Patreon) done, but at the Saturday night write-in I had a mini breakdown because I just could not form words anymore. So I’m spending the next three days just reading and refilling the tank, and hanging out with this expensive (so, so expensive, like 10% of my gross annual income) little monster.
Last year I released a funny horror book where the heroine has two cats named Spencer (Shawn) and Burton (Gus). Nothing bad happens to them, and I was so glad to memorialize little Gus and share their antics with readers.
I’ve got it 50% off at Payhip for the next couple of days to celebrate the boys’ birthday, coupon code SHAWNANDGUS at checkout.
Happy birthday, little Shawnie. And we miss you terribly, Guster.
So of course I leave you with “his” song. Which he still howls for every night if I don’t put it on at bedtime.