I had the idea of writing a series of articles as a tribute to my beloved Little Ren. And though it will ultimately end in sadness, as all tales of living creatures must, it isn't meant to be a sad story; it's a celebration of life and love and happiness. And so I present to you Part I of the Memoirs of Little Ren; the story of a Sphynx from his point of view. ******************** I don't remember much about the early days. I remember warmth, and darkness, and softness as I kneaded my dam's breast, and the comfort of hot sweet milk squirting into my mouth after I had been victorious at winning a nipple from one of my littermates. But there was fear too. When my dam left the nest I always cried, afraid that she wasn't coming back. I think I feared being alone more than anything, back then. And come to think of it, I don't think that deep seated fear ever did really leave, even years later. I would always wrap my paw's around my Momma's neck and press my body as close to her as I could get, wanting every bit of me to touch her. But that was later. One day my eyes opened and I saw light! And as I grew I learned that light was good, for if I went into the light that came from outside it would warm me. Not like the warmth from my momma or littermates, but it was a nice toasty feeling and I was quite fond of it. We grew bigger and each day was exciting! We romped and played until we were exhausted, then collapsed in heaps wherever we happened to be. And our dam always came back and we would try to sneak milk from her, though she soon grew tired of these antics and started batting us away. More days passed, many more days. And then came times when strange humans arrived. They looked at us and played with us, and one by one my littermates were put into tiny cages and carried out the door. They were going with their new families. But not me. They never picked me. "Too skinny" some said. "It looks sick" others stated. Each time someone came I tried harder and harder to make friends with them. "Pick me!" I meow'ed at them. "Pick ME!" But they always left me behind. Then very early one morning, while it was still dark out, a fat lady came. My human momma that I had to share with all the other kitties spoke very quietly, for the rest of the house was asleep. "This is the little boy I was telling you about. He's four and a half months old. He's left over from my last litter. No one wanted him. Everyone said he was too skinny and looked sickly." She stretched me out so the fat lady could see just how long and lean I was. The fat lady reached out and took me. She gently cradled me and I curled against her chest, purring softly as I hopefully looked up into her eyes. Would she be the one? Was she going to be my momma from now on? I felt a soft rumble come from her as she chuckled. It reminded me of my kitty momma's purr and reassured me. "He's not sick. He just has an oriental type body. But he'll still have to stay in isolation for a while. I'll keep him in my bedroom." My human momma smiled. "Oh, if you let him sleep with you he'll love you forever." Years later Momma said she always remembered that sentence: If you let him sleep with you he'll love you forever. She said it was because I did. The fat lady looked down into my eyes again. "He wasn't chosen because he was meant for me, you know. God has a way of doing these things." Some pieces of paper changed hands and soon I found myself bundled into one of the small cages and carried out the door just like my brothers and sisters. I was going to my new home! The fat lady put my little cage on the seat beside her then strapped it in so it couldn't move. And soon I felt almost queasy, as if the world was somehow moving beneath me! But the lady talked to me the whole time and I soon forgot about the funny moving feeling. She said many things. She told me that she was my momma now and that I shouldn't be afraid, because she loved me. She said that I was going to have a new brother named Tigger, who was a big hairy cat. I squinted my eyes and tried to imagine what this Tigger looked like. Imagine, a cat with hair! I wondered if it was sick or something. And she told me that I would also live with my half-sister, Pedda, and that Pedda and I had the same sire, whatever a sire was. And she said there was another very old hairy cat there too, named Weanus, but that I mustn't pay much attention to him and should just leave him alone because he was old and crotchety. She kept talking and I answered back whenever I could get a meow in edgewise. And in the middle of this rambling she told me my name was "Ren." The miles slipped away and soon my carrier was unfastened and I was taken into my new house! Oh, how wonderful this experience was! My eyes were huge as I looked around. I wanted to meet my new kitty family! But my momma had other ideas. "I know you look healthy and the other kitties looked good too, but you're staying in isolation for two weeks, just to be sure." She took me into her bedroom and closed the door, then let me out of the carrier. I started running around the room, my nose twitching at all the new wonderful scents. I ran and jumped on the bed and it moved underneath me! What fun! I spent a minute just jumping up and down on it to make it wiggle. But soon I was off exploring. My momma just sat on the bed talking quietly to me and petting me whenever I came within reach. She had a nice litterbox there which I used, and I sniffed at the food and water. Then the howling started. It came from the other side of the door. There were kitties out there! I ran to the door, desperate to get out and join them. But the door was solid and wouldn't move. But wait - the door didn't quite reach all the way down to the floor. And soon I saw a hairless paw sneak under it, clawing at the carpet as it tried to reach me! "Who is there? Get out of here you stranger, you don't belong here. And let me in, what do you mean locking me out of my own bedroom!" Those meows belonged to another Sphynx and she didn't sound happy. It was followed by some very soft, almost bird-like chirps from another feline. "Why are you locked in there? Who are you? Come out and play with us!" And soon a paw - a great, hairy paw - was also clawing under the door at me. "Come on little Ren, let's go to bed. I'm tired, I worked all last night." My new momma climbed into bed and invitingly held the covers open for me. I so wanted to go to her but these other kitties - I just couldn't stay away from the door. Momma yawned and did her best to try to get to sleep. After two hours Momma gave up the fight. Tigger was still chirping and that Pedda - who sounded like a really nasty girl - was still hissing, spitting, snarling, and howling at the top of her lungs. You'd think she would have gotten tired of it by now but no, if anything she was even louder than when I'd arrived. "I can't take this anymore" Momma said. "Ok, I guess you're big enough to take care of yourself." She wearily climbed from the bed and threw open the door. The other normal cat, Pedda, threw herself at me. THWAP THWAP she smacked me with her paws though I hadn't done anything. "I'm the boss here and don't you forget it." That duty done, she ignored me and jumped on the bed then lay across Momma's neck. Tigger sniffed me, then started curling himself around me, weaving a pattern as if he was rubbing against legs. "You can sleep with me, when Pedda isn't with me." Then he showed me the rest of the house while Pedda kept her position of superiority on Momma's neck. Momma seemed very happy when she woke up. Tigger was laying across her feet and Pedda had retreated beneath the covers to sleep behind her knees. As for me, I was left with the prime spot, right against Momma's face. I felt her lips curve into a smile as she kissed me and whispered "Little Ren, you're really Home now." Life was going to be grand!