Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mum's Day

I'm not a mom by the standard definition, in that I've never given birth. And yet, I've done the mom thing, as much as anyone can who hasn't gone the pregnancy/birth route. Being significantly older than my full-blooded sibs, I've had my share of diaper changes, 2am teething screaming, being thrown up on, kissing scraped knees, bedtime stories, helping with homework and school projects, etc. Granted, I wasn't their primary parent, but to say I was only their big sister is a misnomer.

And then there's all of the animal babies I watch over. We raised our cat Jilly from the tender age of two weeks old, when she was found orphaned from a feral litter. Eyes just opened and still baby blue, with one ear still down and the other half up, she weighed just two ounces. Bottle feedings every three hours, baths, taking her with us everywhere, and making sure we had enough formula (wish I had dairy goats then!), clean bottles, baby wipes and the basket warmer.

Since then we've had several rounds of baby chicks. Thank goodness they don't require bottle feedings every three hours! The latest group is now five weeks old and have been moved out of the brooder and into a cage with more head room. They're almost completely feathered now, and have just begun spending days outside.

And in June, one of my goats, Dharma, is due to have her first set of kids. We're unsure on her due date, but we think it will be at the end of the month. Will that make me a grandma? I don't think so, but it doesn't stop me from sending animal pictures to my mom for her wallet. And she never fails to ask about the status of all the animals. I've even heard that she brags about them to her friends!

Here's some much requested pics of the goats. Pi is the smaller black one in the foreground. She's a year old, and will be bred for the first time this fall. Maharani (left) is my current milking doe and the alpha of the herd.

Dharma is my new girl, from the same breeder as Maharani, and though you can't quite tell in the bottom picture, is starting to protrude from the sides. After her kids are two months old, they will begin to be weaned and then Dharma will also be milked every day. Of the three, Dharma is the most attached to humans. She'll follow you around like a very needy dog and loves to be petted.

Did I mention she has the sweetest face?

1 comment:

Nancy Gift said...

I like how you broaden mothering. You definitely deserved a good day with your youngun's.