Being kinder.


There are certain things about pregnancy that made me a better person. For one thing, I very definitely loved our cats a lot more while I was pregnant. In the heart of winter, a minus-two-degrees night, I couldn’t sleep because Elvis was nowhere to be found and I was worried he wasn’t warm enough so I searched the garden in my gown and slippers, belly bounding half a meter in front of the rest of me, knees knocking together from the cold, until I found him curled under a chair in the lapa next to the pool. Filled with concern, I carried him lovingly back to my bed, tucked him in between Jon and I under the covers and tickled him until he purred. Elvie’s brother Pixel didn’t leave my side while I was on bedrest, he slept under the covers with me day in and day out, even following me to the loo to curl himself around my legs, until we’d head back to the bed.

These days, the cats can get knotted. If it wasn’t for basic animal rights, I would have trained them to feed themselves so that I had a few less mouths to feed on a daily basis. Elvis is on his last legs and rather than just curling up and dying*, the cat now requires that Jon and I stick a drip under his skin every night to fill him with nutrients and goodness to keep the old guy going since his kidneys no longer function without assistance. Jon holds him in place, I stick the needle under his skin and then hold it there for a few minutes while the liquid drains. He yowls the whole time and I’ve become an expert in avoiding kitty nails. In addition, Pixel has major separation anxiety from Jon, who is now his favourite human again since I no longer carry pregnancy hormones. Whenever Jon leaves his line of sight, Pixel yowls like only a Siamese can, with the desolation of one cat alone and unloved in the world. This will happen if Jon decides to go pee at 2AM in the morning, and what follows is Pixel yowling at top volume outside the bathroom door and me hurling pillows from the bed at the cat to get him to just shut the hell up.

Last week on my way back to the office after making myself a grilled cheese at home during lunch hour, I passed a beggar who was so skinny he was about to fall through his own poephol. The thought occurred to me that my sandwich would have been much better served for him, he who needed it more. I am ashamed to admit this, but I drove off scowling in irritation because HOW DARE MY HEART PROPOSE SUCH THINGS. My brain kicked in and said I didn’t have enough time to go home and make myself another one, or stop at a shop and buy myself lunch. So I didn’t give it to him and when I got back to work I forced every bite of that sandwich down my shame-filled throat, because I was hungry. Sick to my stomach with self-loathing, I ate that sandwich despite knowing every bite could have filled a human who didn’t have the luxury of a home to rush to during lunch hour.

This made me realise. I had a lot more sympathy and kindness to others when I was pregnant. Lately, with an infant, a husband, and three cats to look after all under one roof, pretty much everything else has had to take a number and get in line for the fucks I give, of which there have been basically zero. That’s not the person I want to be. It’s not the person I’d want my child to be.

So I’m on a mission to be nicer, more thoughtful, more caring and kinder. I want to be more charitable even if it’s inconvenient. I want to think less of myself and experience more with others. I want to feel more empathy and actually do something more than just share a popular post doing the rounds on Facebook to create awareness. And so I’ve started doing small things to make a difference, in my own way. I won’t say what, because this post is not about that. I just needed to get this out in writing to remind myself, and possibly inspire someone else to check themselves – even if that inspiration comes from them just being disgusted with how mean I’ve been. Disgust-filled inspiration is still inspiration, after all.

Let’s be kinder, everyone.


*Grant me some writer’s emphasis here, I don’t *really* want the cat to die.

This entry was posted in Life.


  1. Tara says:

    Best way to be kind is to start with yourself. Sleep deprivation. Hormone crashing, change in relationship dynamics can mean that you are coping with a lot when you don’t realize it.

    But yes. Small deeds. Small kindnesses. What a good goal to have for life.

    (Hope the sick kitty is comfy xx)

    • Shebee says:

      Thanks, he’s fine for as long as we put him on the drip every day. He still lives a happy life, eats his food and plays with Aiden’s toys, so unless that changes, we’ll always look after him like this.

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