To watch Freya busying herself with her kitten is to watch Motherly Love in action. With little Isegrim she is so patient, so enduring, so endlessly concerned, it is simply a joy to behold. Until Isegrim is big and strong enough to fend for himself will she be his provider, his protector, his… mother.
She is the warm cushion he snuggles against when he is drowsy. She is the seemingly endless fountain of that sweet-tasting nourishing milk only mothers can provide. She is the ever-ready playmate who is teaching him all the hunting skills and self-defense techniques he will need for the rest of his life. She protects him against strange tomcats who have not-so-honourable designs with that nubile female who is so obviously fertile but has this cute kitten that is him not sired by them standing in the way. She is the eternal patient parent who will groom him with tender care and infinite love.
Well… that’s the theory.
In reality that endless fountain of free food is rapidly drying up, now that Freya is weaning Isegrim. And her patience with that rambunctious son of hers rapidly vanishes when he keeps insisting on suckling with those fine needle-sharp teeth of his. She also makes clear that she does need her sleep and when her wayward son does keep on trying to play with her he will know soon her wrath. With swift and well-aimed punishment to follow.
She is teaching him to hunt and fight all right, but the tender motherly love can not be spotted even remotely in the vicinity whenever she is busy doing so. Freya clearly is a fervent adherent of the School of Tough Love. Isegrim just has to prove that kittens are made of über-elastic materials and do bounce when thrown up and coming down. I get the picture that she is teaching him to accept loss with dignity, and to expect attack at unexpected times and in unexpected places. Even from the ones you love and trust.
But the protecting bit Freya has got down to pat, that I must admit. Whenever Bean Sidhe ambles over with a hopeful expression on that big face of his, all of her defenses come up in full kitten-protection mode. It does not matter that this big softy has been neutered, or that he is the most lazy feline ever found, and it certainly does not matter that all he has in mind is some innocent and fun playing. What matters is size, and that he has in outrageous abundance. So, you can observe the interesting scene of a heart-broken white-and-orange teddy-bear forlornly staring at this cute little dark-grey fluff-ball of a kitten, whilst a grey ghost of a mother hoovers protectively nearby, with the promise of murder in her eyes should said giant try to move even one hair’s width closer to her precious offspring.
This special treatment, however, is wont to pass soon. With little Isegrim growing real fast his mother will have to wean him of more than just suckling. In wild nature she would soon be pregnant again and chase her son away with angry hisses and menacing claws in order to make place for the newcomer(s). But here in the House of Chaos he will not be expelled and banned from the premises. No. Freya will be spayed soon, so a new litter will never ensue. And Isegrim too, when he’s old enough, will be relieved of a certain hormones factory. Mother and son will both be “neutral” and may live together forever in relative peace from then on.
Yet instinct cannot be easily denied. It is not uncommon for Freya already to leave her son more and more to fend for his own. He must become independent for his own good and learn not to hide behind his mother’s skirts forever. And besides, after so many busy months of taking care of her offspring, Freya is due for some rest and leisure time of her own. She is barely adult herself you know, and the way she plays with Hrimnir clearly shows that this little mother has not forgetten how to be a child herself !
Picture below: a picture of happy times indeed. Could we all be so care-free…
The Mistress and Grumpy Man are away for a well-deserved vacation over at the Abode of Plenty where the Strong Woman of Flanders lives and internet-time is precious there. Therefore we hope you won’t be angry when we only direct direct you towards The Friday Ark, but there you will find who is hosting the Carnival of the Cats, Weekend Cat Blogging and the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos this weekend !!