The Oxytocin Factory

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Yes, things have been happening in the garden, and in the woods. Full on spring has sprung at last after a weird winter, way too warm and dry followed by a frustrating cold and wet spell. Growing things started too soon, stopped, held back, weren’t sure what to do next. But now things seem on track for summer.

The most beautiful thing I saw this week was the first purple asparagus spear poking up from the bed where I planted the crowns a couple of weeks ago.

The most beautiful thing I saw this week was the first purple asparagus spear poking up from the bed where I planted the crowns a couple of weeks ago.

European pasqueflowers continue to delight myself and visitors with their lush purple blossoms and airy seedheads. I observed in another bed that the seedheads fall outward after they grow so tall, and thereby make a ring of babies around the mother plant.

European pasqueflowers continue to delight myself and visitors with their lush purple blossoms and airy seedheads. I observed in another bed that the seedheads fall outward after they grow so tall, and thereby make a ring of babies around the mother plant.

Gabrielle is a born naturalist, and every time she comes to help in the garden she finds a special creature, like this baby garter snake.

Gabrielle is a born naturalist, and every time she comes to help in the garden she finds a special creature, like this baby garter snake. Or maybe it’s a baby bull snake, I can’t remember, they look similar when they’re so small.

In the woods the wildflowers, which started so early like this Indian paintbrush are now more timely.

In the woods the wildflowers, which started so early like this Indian paintbrush are now more timely.

The skies have been crazy gorgeous with all this moisture hovering around.

The skies have been crazy gorgeous with all this moisture hovering around.

And also crazy in an unsettling way like the other morning.

And also crazy in an unsettling way like the other morning.

But the real story of the past few weeks is still the kittens. For the first week I visited twice a day with wet food for Heidi, and just to watch. They grow so fast! Since their proud grandparents returned home I’ve been going every other day to sit with Mary and coo and cuddle with the kittens. Before long, mama felt more comfortable with us handling them, and seemed to enjoy taking a short break from their pawing and suckling. Still, if one of them starts squeaking too loudly she comes running back from her food or her bath to take charge again.

Sitting with that little cat family, just watching them and hearing her purr purr purr, feels like I’m in an Oxytocin Factory. The love fills the air and washes over me. Once I decide it’s time to go home, I just can’t tear myself away. Eventually I leave, but I carry them with me, the feel of their velvet fur and their warm little wiggly bodies, and her consuming devotion to them, and her non-stop purr.

In the two and a half weeks since they were born they have changed so much. At first just a swimming swarm like they were in her womb, they have begun to differentiate into individuals with personalities. Starting at about nine days old their eyes began to open, and it took about four days til the last one peeked out. Then they started to wobble around on unsteady legs. Now some of them can almost stand up straight, and they’re swatting and smooching and playing with each other. Just yesterday the first of them started to react and turn their heads to look around, as if they’re really starting to see the rest of us for the first time. In a few fast weeks more, they’ll all be going off to new homes. I continue to insist that none of them, two in particular, will be coming to mine.

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4 thoughts on “The Oxytocin Factory

  1. The kittens look so adorable and I am not a cat person. Envy Kathy and her visit to you next month for your nature pictures are so inviting. Love, Jean

  2. You make me laugh with your statement that two in particular are not coming home with you. You are bonded and doomed.

    Sent on the new Sprint Network

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