Why We Need PETernity Leave

For the first time in decades I am a proper pet owner – a new mother of 2 kittens and 2 puppies. Due to a mix up at the shelter, I only came home with 2 kittens and 1 puppy till next week.  Every farm house has to have the cats and dogs running around, its just not complete till the furry ones are there.

However, two hours sleep later, I have a new respect for motherhood.  This is how the night went…


Fetch kittens and puppies.  The blanket at the back of the car is on the floor in nano seconds and Pancake ends up sliding up and down the leather seats at every corner.  Drive at 20km an hour the whole way home with the hazard lights on.  Kitties in a carrier and meeuw the whole way home.

4pm – 6pm

Get the animals into the house.  Leave kitties in the carrier and take the puppy on a tour. He immediately proceeds to pee and poo in the lounge – with diarrhea and blood in it. Panic immediately and phone the shelter. They tell me to bring him in first thing tomorrow.

Teach Pancake to sit.  He learns almost instantly, I am impressed.  Bribes help of course. The teach him to not run out the door first because “ladies first”.  He catches on to that one too.  Works fine on the front door, not so great on the bedroom door where the kittens are. But he wonders all over the show sniffing everything.  Seems to be a happy little camper for now – with some dodgy habits that need to go, like humping my leg!

Pancake 2016-02-19 - 8

Get the kittens into the bedroom and introduce them to the puppy.  The kittens just wanna play with him.  Lollipop hisses at him and gives him the bushy tail. Pancake doesn’t like that and beats a hasty retreat.

Pancake and kittens 2016-02-19

6pm – 8pm

Herding cats begins.  Have closed every possible door and window in house. Can’t breathe because it’s so hot and all the windows are closed.  The kittens are trying to get used to the puppy and vice versa.  The kittens just wanna love him and cuddle him, but he doesn’t want to know.  Scary cat with bushy tail has put him off.  Every time he lies down, they come over purring and tails up, he moves off.  Cats give up and jump on the bed to make him jealous.  Pancake spends hours trying to get on the bed.  No Pancake!

Pancake and Lollipop 2016-02-19 2

8pm – 9:30pm

Pandemonium breaks lose.  I’m tired and I haven’t eaten all day. Managed to get the puppy to pee and poo outside a bit, but inside is still his toilet.  Spend hours cleaning the stuff up.  And just like toddlers, come bedtime and now it’s playtime. Most of the afternoon they’ve all been reasonably civilized; 9pm arrives and it’s chaos.  They are all chasing each other around, all trying to jump on the bed.  Pancake decides this is a great time to eat the kitty litter.  “Spit that out now”.  He had already started doing that after realising that this does not taste so great.  Had to giggle despite the chaos at this dog trying to get kitty litter crystals off his tongue. “Bleuch bleuch bleuch!”

At 9:30pm I call it, “That’s IT!  Light out! Now!”.  I put the lights off in the middle of their playdate and pull the blanket over me.  It goes dead quiet for a couple of seconds, then the scrambling starts for bed positions.

9:30pm to 3am

One word from me and they do exactly as they please. The kittens and puppy are at it.

  • Pancake : “I wanna sleep on the bed”.  Tries to jump up.
  • Me : “No Pancake, you have a lovely bed.  Only the kittens can come up here, it’s not fair I know, but that’s life.  Lie down and go to sleep”.
  • Pancake : “I can’t, I’m scared”.
  • “I’m right here, now sleep.”
  • “But I’m not tired”.
  • “Pancake stop it, go to sleep”.
  • “But the kittens are up there, that’s not fair!”
  • Lemonade looks over the edge, gloating. Pancake is not amused.
  • Lemonade decides to dive bomb Pancake who now cannot get close enough to the bed to get away from the kitten. He growls at her.  “No Pancake, we don’t growl at or hurt kitties in this house.”
  • “But she’s teasing me!”
  • “I don’t care, go to sleep”.
  • “I’m not tired, and I’m hot.  And I need to pee”.
  • “But I just took you outside”.
  • “I didn’t need to go then”.
  • And just to spite me, he gets up and pees and poos everywhere.  The smell is awful.
  • That’s it, everybody up!  Lights on, clean the mess.  Take Pancake outside to do his business there.
  • “I don’t need to go now, I want to play.  Wow look at that moon! Hey this garden goes on forever, I can really run here!”
  • “Pancake I am not kidding, do your business, it’s late and I am tired”.
  • “Oooh, nice seedpod, let me eat that too”.
  • “Pancake, spit that out!  Your tummy is already not happy”.
  • “Fine, then I’ll eat the grass.  Ooo a leaf! And I’ll eat that.  AND the ants. Oh and by the way, I like the stick too!”
  • “Fine, whatever, just hurry up please”.
  • We go back inside. The kittens immediately snuggle back up to me.
  • Pancake turns around about 80 times then eventually goes to sleep.  Not with a very big sigh first.  Lollipop decides to go sleep with Pancake, and he let’s her.  She gets bored though and comes back, but it was just enough for Pancake to settle down.  Aren’t cats cool?
  • Suddenly all is quiet.  Now it’s too quiet. I put the cellphone on to get some light, all the babies are in dreamland.  Quietly go back to sleep.  Why do dogs sleep half off their beds all the time?

pancake sleeping

kittens sleeping

3am – 6am

Every now and again Pancake whimpers.  Now it’s time for the pet yoga stretch manoeuvre.  Got both kittens snuggled up in the crook of my left arm, I’m on my back and need to reach Pancake’s paw with the right hand.  New moves discovered and manage to just reach his paw and leg and stroke him.  He’s happy and goes back to sleep.  Everybody is cosy and comfortable except me who looks like a crazed starfish with pets on the end of the appendages!

Now the kittens decide it’s time to move.  Lemonade feels the only place she can sleep is on my throat with some kneading with claws in my hair.  Lollipop isn’t as forthcoming as Lemonade, but eventually she comes over and it’s snuggles all round. We get maybe an hour sleep.

My arm has gone to sleep, I am freezing because the fan is on but the blanket it off, I have a cramp in my neck from trying to reach 3 animals on opposite sides of the bed and at different heights.  Pancake wakes up.  No no boy, it’s too early.  I extract myself from the kittens and turn over so I can reach him properly and soothe him back to sleep. Lemonade thinks this is ideal time to play catch with the back of my bare leg!  I get 4 paws of claws right into my leg.  Aaaaargh!! Try not to scream and wake the whole house up!

  • “Lemonade get off me”.
  • “Your leg must die!  I am a hunter and you are my prey!”.
  • “Lemonade cut it out and go to sleep!”
  • “Die die die!!!”
  • Aaaaaargh.
  • Lollipop just hogs the whole right side of the bed and laughs.

At 5:30am, the kittens decide it’s time to wake up now.  Purrrrr purrrr purrrr!  I open my eyes to see 2 little faces.  “It’s too early babies, lie down”.  I close my eyes.  I then get 2 paws – right in my nostrils.  “Girls, is that really necessary?”.  “Wake up wake up wake up….”. I ignore them and pretend I’m sleeping.  Two more paws in my nostrils plus the obligatory lie on the throat, but this time coupled with kneading of kitten claws right on my jugular. “Ok ok I’m up”.

6am – 9am

Pancake wakes up, so happy to see me.  It’s very hard to resist being lovingly woken up by teeny kittens and a puppy. Try to get him outside in time for morning ablutions.  No go, and still blood in the stool.  Now I can’t remember if my appointment is at 8am or 9am.  I sms them but no reply yet. Can’t take a chance, so start packing up. I am a hot mess! My hair has a new puppy / kitty swing toy frizzed look that I can’t fix right now.  Feed the kitties, put them back in lockdown.  Get Pancake in the car.  He tries to jump around the whole way there. Eventually he gives up and sleeps. Get there just after 8, but my appointment was at 9. Took Pancake outside for a walk, was way too scary for him.  Put him back in the car.

tired pancake

Staff get there early and let me in.  We take him over to the vet room and he starts losing it.  He goes crazy and does not want to go in the room.  I start to panic now, what happened that he is so scared of this room?!  They say they will probably have to keep him till next week.  Pancake is going beserk!  I promise him faithfully I will come back for him, he is having none of that.  I start to cry. I’ve only had this damn dog for 16 hours and I can’t bear to be away from him despite the carnage the night before.  I have to leave, I can’t stay and watch this.

I drive home in a daze and sleep deprived.  Go to Spar quick to get some food of some description – get to the till and realise I don’t have my bank card.  Walk back to the car and see an elephant on the horizon – in Midrand, Johannesburg! I am now hallucinating…

9am – Now

It’s so quiet and calm.  The house looks like a bomb has hit it.  My hair is standing in every direction after a night of being used as a swing.  Clean up the entire house.  Sterilize the floors.  Let the kittens out the room to explore the rest of the house.  Make endless forts and boxes and things for them to chase.

They climb onto my laptop and try to go sleep.

stop working








Put the yoga mat on the desk cos they liked to claw it, and off they went to sleep.  Finally time to blog and take some kitty pics. It takes longer than expected cos Lollipop has climbed onto my lap demanding attention so I have to type with one hand.

are you comfortable

I now completely understand what motherhood is about.  How do people do this?!?!  And I also understand when stay-at-home mom’s get nothing done in the day.  It’s just impossible with so many moving parts demanding your undivided attention 24/7 and then some!  I know this will pass all too quickly and I must just enjoy the madness, but it’s a lot tougher than I thought.  It’s a terrible thing to say, but I’m glad I’m only getting the puppies again next week.  I bit off rather more than I can chew.  It’s given me and the kittens time to bond in peace.  By the time the puppies get here, they will be out of room lockdown and we can have a more normal night.  I hope.  We definitely need a PETernity leave category…

I’m off to nap.  Check out the rest of pics of these little terrors and future loves of my life. And man, it is crazy hard to take pics of pets alright.  Gonna need a lot more practice. After I get some sleep.

paws for effect 2

Huge respect to mothers of all kinds; including mine! I really had no idea…..

About Veronique Palmer

Empowering people one at a time.
This entry was posted in Pets. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Why We Need PETernity Leave

  1. Marlizette de Kock says:

      Aaawww, just love reading about your new babies and all their antics! Let us know how Pancake is doing – have they figured out what’s wrong?

    One thing that worked like a charm when I house-trained my two as puppies, was to take them outside 30 min after every meal, immediately after a nap and also just before bed-time. I used to praise them like mad and made a fuss when they did their business on the grass outside and gave them a treat as reward as well. I also read that if you catch them in the act inside the house, not to behave negatively but quickly pick them up and run outside with them and let them finish it in the right spot. Then praise them again like crazy ☺

    Good luck with the education and enjoy every minute of those little personalities – I can’t imagine my house without pets, they make everything worthwhile!


  2. Pingback: The Kitten Diaries – Day 2 | Views from Veronique

  3. Emile : LOL, love those names!!! My brood have these names for now. Will see how long it lasts. Thanks for the link suggestion, I’ll check it out. As for the kittens, it’s over. They’ve got the run of the roost. They are far too cute and they have complete power over me already. 🙂


  4. Madcap, you are totally welcome. 🙂 Thanks for a lovely compliment.


  5. Thanks Cath!! So great to hear from you. I definitely will do training yes, Friday night was exhausting. Straight to school with them. Thanks for the tip on separate training.


  6. Emilie Knapple says:

    Awe. I applaud you. Wonderful that you have some fur babies. I would be lost without my ‘boys’ Nitwit and shithead. I also raised 2 kids full time and a stepson every other weekend. I would make a suggestion about the pups. There is a training program called the ‘dogfather’ it’s http://theperfectdog.com/? So you establish the rules. The kitties won’t adhere to rules, so a spray bottle with water will help. Sounds like heaven.


  7. Madcap1 says:

    I want to thank you for this totally delightful blog. How blessed these pets are to have found you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathie says:

    Ah, loving the stories! Your life will be so enriched by your 4 legged children. Thank you for rescuing shelter snimals…Please take the pups to.Puppy training though so they learn to see you as the-one-in-charge. It’s too easy for 2 pups of the same age to form an unholy alliance and become terrorists! Train them as individuals to have a bond with YOU before they create a bond together that will be hard to break and control…. Wishing Pancake a speedy recovery from the upset tummy and sending love and furkids kisses from my children to yours xxxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s