"Well, at least he'll be cheaper to neuter," Pat says.

Mazda hasn’t opened hisher eyes yet. We keep waiting. Will they be green or blue or gray?
A monsoon pounded the roof at 4am this morning reminding us we needed to feed. YOU’RE AN HOUR LATE. GET UP – it thundered, so I warmed the tiny bottle and picked up the gray fluff in my palm and he ate and ate and sucked the sticky formula down. I keep talking to her like she’s a girl, I keep thinking she’s a girl, but in the glow of the oven light as I was rubbing her butt to make her poo, I thought I saw a hint of two round HIMS beginning to poke through. What if she is a boy? I wondered, placing shim back into the warm nest we’ve made of fleece sheets, a cow stuffed animal and a heating pad. We are secretly hoping for a girl, mostly because boy cats tend to pee everywhere, but my heart is conflicted about having a boy or a girl. And so is my attitude.
When I think of that little fluff as Mazie, I want to coddle and kiss and protect. When I think of that little fluff as Maz, I think he’ll be totally OK protecting himself against Tula-Beast when he gets older. Why such differences? Why do we treat people (in this case animals) so differently because of gender? And why – when I think of her as Mazie – do I feel like she needs my protection any more or less than Maz? This cat is tough shit. If sheim can survive 2+ days in a car engine without food in 100 degree weather, sheim can survive DivaCatPrincessTula. Part of me wants it to be a girl because of this reason, because she’s tough as nails and to me a woman could survive something like that. Part of me thinks something so small, something so reliant and cute and mewing, could never be a male. And then I’m back again to these ridiculous gender rules we associate with little girls and little boys that have somehow, despite my feminist leanings, ingrained themselves in my mind.
Only boys do this and only girls are like that.
No matter what IT is, we laugh every time we go to feed her and find its fat belly skyward, legs crossed and twitching in dreams. And we both vie for its attention: I’ve begun to put him in the pocket of my fleece jacket, close to my heart where I can listen to her little puttering purrs.
We get to hand raise a baby kitten who, in only a week’s time, has lifted our morale in this, so far, friendless city.
This is a lot of work. This new place where nothing is established. This is new to all of us – 10 hard, life-struggling days for some.

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