Mia decided to give birth in the inaccessible remote corner of the entrance cupboard. In the middle of Margot's most expensive shoes. Pierre and Margot had prepared a comfortable place in a warm corner of the kitchen with a stack of old woolen jumpers in a basket.  Mia even seemed to like it and sniffed around the basket for a couple of days. 

Margot was travelling that day. In Berlin on business. Pierre came back home late. There were drinks at work for one of his colleagues who was leaving. 

Mia would generally greet him when he was home. He normally would have look for her if she did not. But that evening he was a bit tipsy so he went to bed directly. Undressed. Did not brush his teeth. 

He heard the cries when he woke up in the middle of the night, and found Mia with 6 kittens. 5 alive and one dead. Mia was furiously leaking the dead kitten and meowing. She looked stressed and exhausted and her long cream hair were dirty and sticking together. Pierre took care of the dead kitten. Fed Mia. Talked to her gently. Mia looked desperately for the missing kitten for a while. He talked to her gently. She gave up after a while, overwhelmed by the 5 other kittens crying and looking for her. Peter went back to bed. He called Margot in the morning. Hit her voice-mail. 

-"Mia had her babies, 5 of them, beautiful. She had them in the entrance cupboard"

He hesitated to mention that one kitten was dead. Decided against. 

-"The Kittens like your shoes", Pierre added.


Margot made her decision during that trip. She just did not love him anymore. Hated his friends. All bankers. Talking about nothing else but their cars. 16 hours intense week days ending in Michelin stars restaurants. Their women at home. Doing breakfast or lunches with their friends and shopping designer clothes together. Spending their money. Lots of money. Those with kids talking about private schools tutors summer camps live in nannies. 'Not my world' she decided. She wanted adventure and bohemia and romance and this was not where she would find it. Pierre was a nice enough guy though. And he liked cats. And books. His parents both teachers. Living in a modest suburban home. She never thought he would end up fitting so well in that bankers' environment. 'Eye opener' really. It is not like she did not like the money. She liked it for a while, bought a lot of shoes. It made her happy for a minute. A fleeting minute. Beautiful designer shoes in the back of the hushed dressing cupboard of their penthouse flat. Home of Mia and her newborn kittens.


Listening to Pierre’s voice-mail she felt sad and confused. Pierre's sense of humour she loved. And Mia. Their proxy child. Could she really leave her? With all her new babies? She suddenly wanted to be home.


The flight back from Berlin was delayed. She hated Tegel’s airport. The long narrow no-man’s land corridor past security where you could not even find decent coffee. When she arrived home, tired, feeling nauseous, Pierre was waiting for her with a fabulous wine decanting in a carafe. He took her by the hand and walked her to the dressing cupboard. Opened it very carefully. Mia's eye where shining. She normally would have come up to Margot. She was a dog cat Margot always thought. But today, she had 5 one day old kittens latching on her, nursing and purring.  Mia just looked at Margot, happy and proud, lying in the middle of high heeled shoes Margot never wore. 

-"They are beautiful..." Margot whispered.

Pierre nodded. He squeezed her hand gently. She knew that they would be all right for a while. 


Brigitte Bellan