When it rains, it purrs, I mean, pours.

Have you ever seen a cartoon where someone goes to turn on the faucet, and the handle shoots strait up in the air under a gusher of spraying water? And the poor, unsuspecting person tries their best to stop it, but it only makes the water shoot out in all directions, causing massive flooding and lots of wet clothes? Well, that was the scene in my kitchen last night. After a long day of shoveling dirt and birthing kittens (we'll get to that part in a bit), I'd chased all the kids off to bed and was about to make a nice cup of tea and sit down to rest, when it happened. It was like Old Faithful spouting off. A real guyser. And just my luck, it was the HOT water. I yelled for Sam to come and help, not really knowing what I was going to do, I just knew I couldn't do it alone. So I jammed the faucet handle back down into the spraying water and told Sam to reach under the sink and shut off the water. Well, he couldn't get the knob to turn, and all the while very hot water was dripping down on his head, poor kid. So we quick switched spots and he held the faucet handle down with a kitchen towel and I got the shut off knob turned. Lordy, it was a mess. The entire counter top was flooded, and luckily sometime in the whole fiasco I had the wherewithall to unplug the toaster. Yikes.

And of course, Paul's out of town. So no kitchen sink for the next few days. No big deal, right? Well, it dawned on me this morning that it also means no dishwasher.


OK, I'm better.

On to the other exciting story. Hazel is a mama! Morning before last, she was outside at the door begging to come inside. This isn't normal for her. She sleeps in a basket on the porch, and is content with her freedom to roam. And I'm content with not having to change a litter box. So I reluctantly let her in, telling myself it was just for awhile. After she inspected the house from top to bottom, she decided that my bra drawer looked like the perfect place for a nap. Did you know cats can open dresser drawers all by themselves? So she snuggled up and went right to sleep. But it wasn't a peaceful sleep. It was a restless, eyerolling, leg stretching, heavy breathing sleep. It was labor. After about four hours, she hopped down from the drawer and went outside. I thought it must have been a false alarm. So as she did everyday, she disappeared to wherever it is cats go when they wander outside, and didn't come home that night. We were all a little worried, so we searched our yard, the neighbors' yards and up and down the road, but couldn't find her. We went to bed that night thinking she was probably just hiding under the house, chasing mice.

When I got up yesterday morning, and she wasn't on the porch, I started calling for her again. After walking all around our house, I came in through the back door to see Lizzy standing on full alert, facing the closet where Paul keeps his guns. Then I heard the purring. I grabbed Lizzy, threw her in her kennel and yelled for Sage to wake up.

Now, this is how much of a wimp I am. I couldn't bring myself to look in the closet, for fear there might be babies that didn't make it. I asked Sage to look. So I stood behind her while she kneeled down and counted four brand new, healthy kittens, nursing furiously while Hazel purred contently. After we both freaked out for a minute, we started moving some of the guns out of the closet so that we could get a good look. It looked like Hazel had everything under control, no mess, no kittens that didn't make it. So we got a sheet under them, brought her some food and water and set up a litter box. She's been there ever since, tending to her babies.

It's hard not to keep going in there to stare at them, and she's been very gracious about all the attention, but we're trying to keep it as quiet as possible for her and the kittens. So I'll have lots more pictures to share in the next few weeks, while we host the babies until we can find homes for them.

Their names are Smith, Wesson, Ruger and Daisy Red Ryder.

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