Saturday, November 05, 2005


Perhaps the title ought to be changed to 'To Love Animals' in order to avoid any confusion, huh? But what I mean is not only about humans loving animals (in the good sense - doesn't include love for food or copulation purposes), but also animals loving their humans. If you have pets, you'll know what I mean.

I have had cats since as far back as I can remember. Then, our house was near a school canteen, so people were always leaving strays there with the hopes that at least the strays can find food at the canteen. Most of the strays instead ended up in our kitchen compound, begging for food and looking so forlorn. At one time, we had as many as 17 cats, phew! The amazing thing was that although the cats were allowed inside our compound, they rarely leave their excrement around. Almost as if every new cat got toilet-trained by the older cats. { Hey you there, newbie, don't shit around 'coz the boss might get upset and kick ALL of us out! }

Among all the cats I ever had, the one closest to me was the last one I had, called Meor. No, he's not from Perak. He was a 'pariah' kitten that I rescued on my last day at Uni, I had to take him home because he (& a brother) had been abandoned by their mom, and they would surely die if left at the deserted hostels, since it was the semester holidays. He was called Meor because that's how he sounded then, not the high-pitched kitten-mew, but 'mee-yor, mee-yor'. His brother we called Miung, because he was clumsy and kept bumping into furniture :-)

They were quite well-trained adorable kittens, playing in the neighbour's yard and then come running home to do business in their kitty litter, before going back to play in the neighbour's yard. Thank you dears, you just gave me more mess to clean up hehehe. Ibu used to say, "buat apa bela kucing, kalau bela budak, at least you balik keje dia boleh tolong bukakkan gate" *Jie rolls her eyes*

Meor is one cat with an attitude. You can shoo him all you like, he won't run away, instead he'll 'jeling' you with a look that says "la ni apa kecoh ni?". He didn't really mind his baths, but how he hated the anti-flea powder! He was a good hunter, and along the years brought back prizes which he sometimes left under my bed or on the 'Welcome' mat at the front door. Prizes ranged from the simple cicak, to mengkarung, to small frogs. Then as he got older and more skilled, he brought lots of sparrows and small birds, sometimes half-eaten, yuck!

When he got even more skilled, he once brought back a gory-looking half-eaten neighbour's rabbit, which made Ibu so flustered she made me go apologize to our neighbour. Nice one, Meor *snicker*. The best prize he ever brought back was a medium-sized pomfret hehehe entah mana la dia cilok tuh. This, despite being fed Friskies 3 times a day, the fat cat! He came home with numerous scratches and wounds, which I dutifully cleaned with antiseptic, and he even broke his right forepaw once. Didn't deter him from terrorising the neighbourhood, did it?

Anyway, Meor always had this knack of finding me whenever I feel upset or down. Being an outdoor cat, he sometimes doesn't come home for two or three days especially during the mating seasons. But the days that I reach home after having an argument with a friend or upset with a colleague, or even just bila kena marah ngan Ibu, he would come to me within minutes, rubbing himself on my feet or jumping up on my lap. The stroke therapy plus the purr-purr sounds he made were very soothing. Every now & then he would stretch himself, look at me, and say a short 'awr', as if asking me if I feel better. And he would stay by my side until I actually did feel better.

Alas, Meor died at the prime age of 5 years old. We believe he was hit by a car, and he promptly hid in the monsoon drain to lick his wounds. By the time he came home, he was limping badly and the wounds were festered, his breath was laboured and rasping. He probably succumbed to septicemia and died in my arms a couple hours later.

All the previous cats belonged to the family, but Meor was my sole responsibility from the beginning. After that, well, I didn't want another cat. I didn't want to deal with another loss like that. But for a few years after, I'd be walking around the neighbourhood and bumping into young cats with the EXACT MARKINGS like Meor. I'd like to think that his philandering days actually produced several offsprings *wink wink*.

So, no more cats, especially since now we have my sis's baby Ajiq at home. No, he's not a pet. Mom just thinks that 'hama kucing' would be detrimental to baby Ajiq's health. Right now, my pets are a small tank-full of sea-monkeys from Toys 'R Us. Don't know what they are? Just google 'sea-monkey', if you wanna find out eheh :-)

No comments: