I am obviously not unaware of my own decision not to have children. Neither am I constantly aware of it, no more than I am constantly aware of my little toes, or my contacts. It’s a part of me that I notice only when attention is drawn to it — and attention was most certainly drawn to it in French earlier this week.
We have been thrown into the hellish world of the imperfect and conditional tenses. Madame, with that sweetly-sly smile, begins and ends each class with a series of questions utilizing what we have just learned. It was apparently destined that one of the questions she asked was “If you were married, would you have children?”
Girl One: Two children
Girl Two: One child
Boy One: No children
Girl Three: Four children
Boy Two: Two children, I guess
Girl Four: Five children
Girl Five: One child
Lauery: No children
Okay, so I actually didn’t get any funny looks for it (the girl who wants five children raised some eyebrows, though). But nevertheless, I walked out of class feeling inexplicably frustrated with myself and the other girls in my class.
I can’t claim that society is pressuring women to feel the need to procreate; that urge is more biological than anything else. So why should I be frustrated? No reason. Still am, though.
It didn’t really strike me until the next day, as I lazily watched John’s [gorgeous, fluffy, apricot-and-cream colored] cat [Freddie] while half-napping in bed, that I do feel some need to procreate. It isn’t strong, it isn’t driving, but it’s there. Cubs. Not children. Weak, mewling, white-and-black-rosetted cubs. That will grow into curious, bright-eyed, fuzzy and adventurous cubs. Then sleek, intent, intelligent young adults. Cubs.
This has to be the ‘strongest’ snow leopard instinct I’ve ever felt, to be honest. I’ve never gnawed on the steering wheel as I drove past goats, never threatened to attack a bird that tried to scavange a potato chip off my plate. Even now I’m not tearing my clothes off to convince John to see if we can, by some miracle, make snow leopard cubs. (This may be partially due to the fact that he is currently out of town.) But honestly, truly, when I think of having cubs, something feels so right. My gut clenches with that desire, that instinctive need.
I do not want to bottle-feed adorable little kittens. I do not want to take them to the vet for vaccinations or wash them with water if they play in the mud. I do not want to buy them cute little collars and cute little toys. I do not want them to use a litterbox. I want snow leopard cubs, my snow leopard cubs, and I want them to be raised as such.
…And I feel so awkward in publicly proclaiming this.
It’s not so much that I’m afraid people will think me completely nuts (that doesn’t bother me) — what does bother me is the thought that this might and could be dismissed as ‘fluffiness.’ I don’t remember noticing this particular topic ever coming up before, and that makes me a touch nervous. Which is sad, really; how does that reflect on the therian community as a whole?